Monday, January 2, 2017

Northern Cyprus Postcard with an awesome EURO 2016 Stamp

Northern Cyprus is one of the harder countries to find in the world of postcards.
Northern Cyprus is the Turkish part of the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, divided between Turkey and Greece since the late–20th century. The beautiful island is famous for it's serene beaches, majestic Byzantine castles and ancient ruins. The capital city, Nicosia (Lefkoşa), has an old town enclosed by Venetian walls. Its Gothic Selimiye Mosque was once a cathedral, and Buyuk Han is a 16th-century Ottoman caravanserai (inn) turned arts center.
The photo featured on the postcard shows a view of  Kyrenia Harbour. Kyrenia Harbour is a small harbour but a charming, fascinating place, to find the calm ambience, soothing atmosphere, beautiful views and stunning surroundings. The harbour is filled with yachts and boats, and the landscape is somewhat dominated by the fascinating Kyrenia Castle.
The stamp used on the postcard was a part of a set of 2 stamps issued on the occasion of EURO 2016 Football Cup. EURO 2016 was held in France from 10 June - 10 July 2016 and Portugal won the tournament.




Saturday, April 25, 2015

Uganda - Murchinson Falls

Another one of the postcards posted last year by me to my dad, while I was travelling through Uganda. Murchinson Falls is number 3 on the list of top 10 scenic places of Uganda.
I bought this postcard from a shopping mall in Kampala along with many others.
Murchinson Falls National Park is about 300 kms NW of KampalaMurchison Falls National Park is Uganda's largest national park. It measures approximately 3,840 square kilometres (1,480 sq mi). Together with the adjacent Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the Karuma Wildlife Reserve, the park is part of the 5,308 square kilometres (2,049 sq mi) Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA).
In Murchison there are four of the "Big Five". Cape buffalo, elephants, lions, leopard are best to be seen in the northern part (above the Nile). Due to excessive hunting and poaching, rhinos became extinct by 1983, but were re-introduced into Uganda in 2005 by Rhino Fund Uganda. White rhinoceros are now being bred again in the 7,000 hectares (27 sq mi) Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which is located 70 kilometres (43 mi), south of the park. Their mission is to reintroduce small herds of rhinos (around five at a time), whilst retaining a nucleus breeding herd in the sanctuary. MFCA and adjacent Bugondo Forest reserve contain 76 Species of mammals as well as Uganda's largest population of Nile crocodile.
You can see the official website of the park here.
The stamp used was issued in honour of Ugandan athlete Stephen Kiprotich, who won a Gold Medal at Men's Marathon in London 2012 Olympic Games.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Switzerland - Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Having received a previous postcard of Disney's Princess Snow White from Russia before, today I am sharing another postcard of Snow White posted from Switzerland by Alexia. This beautiful postcard was sent as an official Postcrossing postcard and was a lovely surprise. My kids really loved the princess and the cute dwarfs.
The postcard was sent using a stamp showing a bird - Red Kite (Milvus milvus). It is one of the stamps from a set of two stamps issued by Helvetia in 2009.
Thanks a lot Alexie for this hand-picked postcard.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Abu Dhabi - Sheikh Zayed Mosque - One of the largest Mosques in the World

WoW! What an elegant and grandeur mosque it is! I bought this postcard during my trip to Dubai and wrote it for posting to my kids. I even bought the stamps and pasted them on the postcard but due to a small change in my flight plan, I could not post it and brought it to my kids in my back pack!
Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the 3rd largest mosque in the World
The construction of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was started by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure which unites the cultural diversity of Islamic world, the historical and modern values of architecture and art. His final resting place is located on the grounds beside the same mosque. 
The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007. It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. The building complex measures approximately 290 m (960 ft) by 420 m (1,380 ft), covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), exclusive of exterior landscaping and vehicle parking.
As the country's grand mosque, it is the key place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers. During Eid it can be visited by more than 40,000 people.
I bought the above stamps from a post office close to Meena Bazaar in Dubai. The stamps were issued on the occasion of 40th Anniversary of the Constitution of the Union Supreme Court in 2014. Each stamp costed 1AED (Emirati Dirham). The complete set consisted of 4 stamps - in green, white, black and red colours.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DR Congo: A Real-Posted Postcard from Democratic Republic of Congo - A Jewel in My Collection

Finally I managed to take a short trip to Kinshasa - the Capital city of Democratic Republic of Congo. Dozens of friends had requested me to send a postcard or a cover from DR Congo but I could not send many because of very expensive postcards and enormously costly postage. In fact I could manage to send only two postcard - one to myself and the other one to a friend in Caribbean.

I bought this beautiful postcard from a book shop near 30th June Avenue or Independence Avenue. The postcard costed me US$5 each. The back of the postcard reads "Bonobos,  espèce endemique de RD Congo protégé par la loi" in French language meaning "Bonobos, DR Congo endemic species protected by law". The bonobos are found in a 500,000 km2 (190,000 sq mi) area of the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa.

The experience in the Post Office was even more strange. The lady at the counter in General Post office in Kinshasa told me that postage for each postcard is US$5 but she didn't have stamps for the same value. Language barrier was pretty difficult to cope with as the lady spoke French only and not a word of English. The only stamps that she had were the two pasted on the postcard. The posted stamps are of 245 Congolese Francs only which turns out to be around US$0.25, so I had to pay US$5.25 for the postage.
After receiving the postcard, I did try to find a postmark or some sign of US$5 that I paid to her but could not find any sign. Any how, it is really a precious jewel to find a real-posted postcard from DR Congo.
I do have some other UNESCO postcards from DR Congo that I brought from there. I shall be posting their scans on the blog in coming days. If you are interested in getting any of them, you can leave a message below with your facebook ID or email contact.
Have fun ..... Happy Collecting!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Petit Seminaire de Mugeri - Postcard # 2 from DR Congo

The second postcard that I found in Bukavu shows "Petit Seminaire de Mugeri". 

For the multi-view postcard from Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, you can click here.

Bukavu - Finally a Postcard from Democratic Republic of Congo

After having lived in Democratic Republic of Congo for almost 7 months, finally I am so glad to have found my first postcard from Democratic Republic of Congo …… Yahoooooo!!!!
The postcard shows multi-views of Bukavu City with a photo of fishermen in Lake Kivu in the center. By the way, this entire area covering DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania is known as the Greater Lakes Region. Lake Kivu is one of the smallest lakes in the region with a surface area of about 28,000 km2 (almost the size of Belgium, complete country = 30,278 km2).

I am in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the last 7 months and tried hard to find some postcards. I am in Bukavu, a city in the eastern province South Kivu and about 1500 miles away from the capital city, Kinshasa. Even the large shops do not have any postcards of the country. I am working on a project to collect UNESCO site postcards but I am yet to find a single post card of any of the 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in DR Congo.

Luckily or unluckily, I found these two postcards while roaming in the city at a small stationery shop but the shopkeeper was not willing to depart from them for a small amount. He asked $10 for each postcard, however after a bit (a lot) of bargain I managed to get each postcard for $5 only. I definitely wanted to buy more for swapping but could only purchase one copy of each postcard.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is undoubtedly one of the hardest countries in Postcrossing World to get a postcard from. After being torn by years of violence, a history filled with genocides, mass murders, Armed  Groups and extremely corrupt regimes, DRC remains at the bottom in the list of countries in almost every aspect. DR Congo is blessed with gigantic mineral reserves including gold, copper, uranium, cobalt, coltan, oil, gas and virtually every element present on the periodic table. However this blessing from God Almighty has become a curse for the country and its people. Armed Groups are always fighting with each other for the control of the mines filled with gold, copper and other precious metals. In order to control the people, they use a number of brutal tactics including mass killings, kidnapping, looting and above all rape. DR Congo is known as the “Rape Capital of the World” as the Armed Groups carry out mass rapes to strike fear among the populace.
In order to control the situation, United Nations had to deploy a mission in the country, commonly known by its acronym, MONUSCO. MONUSCO is the largest United Nations Mission in any country of the World with more than 20,000 observers and military personnel deployed. UN managed to control the crimes to a large extent but the country is still marred with numerous challenges.
You must be wondering why it is so hard to find the postcards of DR Congo. UN terms DR Congo among the least developed Nations of the World and it is among the bottom 10 countries of the World in terms of poverty, stability and almost every social indicator. With a life expectancy of around 48 years, people are not much inclined towards hobbies. Instead they are working hard for their daily food.

Do you Want to Get a Postcard from DR Congo?  Because of the huge price, I may not be able to swap these with Postcrosser friends but I can get them for you, if anyone is willing to pay (Remember, I am not a dealer, just a collector :-) ). Postcards will be sent from another country (Probably Pakistan, my home country) inside an envelope or written and stamped (as per your wish), as DR Congo does not have a functional postal system, anywhere other than Kinshasa. You will only pay for the price of postcard + postage cost, without any commission. If you are interested, please leave me a note below in comments section along with your email address.

The 2nd postcard from Democratic Republic of Congo can be seen here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taiwan: Taipei 101 - 5th Largest Building in the World

Ni Hao!
This beautiful postcard shows the Capital City of Taiwan, Taipei. It is located in Northern Taiwan.
The tower building shown on the postcard is "Taipei 101".
The back of the card said that Taipei 101 is the 2nd largest building in the World, but a little research through Google Guru told that currently (in July 2014) Taipei 101 is the 5th tallest building on the planet after Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower, Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel and One World Trade Center. Height of the Taipei 101 is 1667 feet.
Taipei 101 comprises 101 floors above ground and 5 floors underground. The building was architecturally created as a symbol of the evolution of technology and Asian tradition. Its post-modernist approach to style incorporates traditional design elements and gives them modern treatments. The tower is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. A multi-level shopping mall adjoining the tower houses hundreds of stores, restaurants and clubs.
2 x Beautiful stamps are attached at the back of the postcard by Neho. One of the stamp shows a mushroom named Amanita Rubrovolvata, while the second shows a stag.
Thank you Neho for such a beautiful postcard.
BTW it was an official Postcrossing Postcard.


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