Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Namibia - Country - Territory 300. 25 Remaining

Africa-Namibia-Windhoek  I have to say what a wonderful country Namibia is. My last country on this Southern African trip. I have a number of postcards and photos to put up over the next while so you will see more . Here you will see the famous Church in the centre of the traffic island. I have been inside but it is the outside which is more impressive. Sort of a Hansel and Gretel type of building. Also on the top middle the new museum dealing with the struggle for Independence. Namibia has a special place in my heart. It is number 300 on my list of visited Countries and Territories according to  TCC ( Travellers Century Club) . There is a total of 325 on this list so just 25 to go.. This my last new country of this year , but next year if all goes well I hope to visit 10 new Countries/Territories. Those who keep a eye on were I have been are likely to figure out what places I had yet to visit.  

Namibia has the best Philatelic service according to what I have seen on this trip. All the main Post offices show information on new stamps . They also sell them in sets . In Windhoek the Philatelic office was across the road from the GPO next to other shops. The lady there was most helpful and keen to show me what stamps they had. She is working there for over 10 years !! . So was able to pick up new issues. 

Monday, 17 October 2016

South Africa

Africa-South Africa-Cape Town I have to say this is one of my favourite cities in the world. This is a view from just outside where I stay. Lovely to walk here. It has been 11 years since I have been back. Loved my time here and very good value if you are coming from outside South Africa. 

I went to the main GPO in Cape Town down in the city. It is a large Post office surrounded by shops . There is no Philatelic counter . They did not have a full selection of stamps. I was told to go down to the Post office at the Waterfront, as they get more tourists there and will have a better selection. This is a small post office on the first floor . Again no philatelic counter and no stamps in sets. But they did show me stamps in the stock book and they had some new issues. 

Africa-South Africa-Paarl  This area is known as the Cape winelands. Less then one hours drive outside the city of Cape Town. This card is from babylonstoren where my friends and I had lunch. 

I posted all my South African cards in Cape Town. All have laser printed postmarks. At least they have a competition to design a stamp. 

Africa-South Africa-Clarens  This small town in in the Free State . Driving on the way from Lesotho to Bloemfontein to catch a flight to Cape Town. The town itself is very nice with a old world feel to it.  

On the day I was in Clarens I had no South African stamps . So this card had to wait until Cape Town to get mailed. The stamps are part of a large set in relation to a World Geographical conference being held in South Africa. 
Another view of the beach in Cape Town 

Paarl Winelands. 

The African Penguins near Simons Town , outside Cape Town 

With friends having dinner in Cape Town. The bottle of wine I am holding is a Bottle of "Penny Black" . 

Thursday, 13 October 2016


Africa-Lesotho-Maseru This area is very typical of the wonderful scenery in Lesotho. Had a long drive from Swaziland about 7 hours but was worth it with the wonderful scenery. A very beautiful country and I felt I was back in Africa again in the true sense of the word. Photographs do not do this country justice. 

I purchased these stamps at the GPO in Maseru. I did go to the philatelic section up stairs but the stamps were all older issues and I always prefer to use stamps that have just been issued. Unfortunately Lesotho had no new issues available for the last 3 years. 

Africa-Lesotho-Maseru  This is the Famous Basotho hat shop. It is really the main or only shop in the city selling souvenirs. Lots of choice inside including plenty of postcards. This is in Maseru. 

As you can see here. The same stamps again which is rare for me to use. But no choice or selection at the GPO in Maseru. At least a good cancellation . 
Inside the GPO in Maseru. 

Post office boxes outside GPO 

Entrance to GPO Maseru 

The Basotho shop where one can buy souvenirs. 

Horse riding in Lesotho. Have not done this in ages. Really enjoyed it. 

Some of the friendly people I met in Lesotho. 

Sunday, 9 October 2016


Africa-Swaziland-Ezulwini  Swaziland was the  first stop on my recent trip to Southern Africa. Here you can see a typical view of the countryside . 

I posted this card in Ezulwini . The main tourist area in Swaziland. My first stop was to call into Mbabane , the capital city. It was cold and raining that day and the city itself is pretty uninspiring . I called to the Philatelic shop which is on the main street. It just has a glass door with a sign. The last stamps they had was 2010 , but was expecting stamps from another office. The philatelic office itself needed a good sort out and the the only staff member I talked to was not in the least helpful in trying to show me stamps. So I left. I then visited the Main Post office around the corner. At this stage I had no postcards and the post office only had a small selection of stamps so I did not post at the main GPO.
The Post office at Ezulwini

The Post clerk at the Post office. A very nice lady who was helpful in showing me what stamps was available. 

A view while having lunch 

Local Dancing and a Witch Doctor 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Manihiki - Cook Islands

Pacific Ocean-Cook Islands-Manihiki  This Postcard has taken some time to come. Posted on 18 May arrived 7 October. Well at least it arrived. Nanihiki was one of the Northern Cook Islands I visited on the Pacific trip in May. This island is famous for it's pearls. Had a great time here relaxing and swimming in the nice warm water. You can see more of this on my blog if you look at the Cook Islands. 

At the time I visited the Post office there was not Post cancellation . The Post Office official told me she would send the card to Raratonga. Looking closely at the Postmark it is stamped Rarotonga. Still it was posted in Manihiki and they send out very little mail. The stamps were in fact purchased in the Post office there. Tourism 2014. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Dubai - UAE

Middle East-United Arab Emirates-Dubai  Posted this card on the way back from my recent India trip. Here is a night view of Burj Al Arab which I think is a 7 star hotel. Many years ago in Dubai I visited and had dinner in the underwater restaurant and finished that off with a drink in the sky lounge. The biggest surprise was at the end. I was staying at a sister hotel and when I came out of the building they had a Rolls Royce to bring me back to my hotel.. Never to be forgotten. 

There is a 24 Hours Post office at Dubai Airport. You can buy stamps there and postcards in the shop just down the stairs. You cannot buy sets just complete collections. 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

More Ahmedabad - India

Asia-India-Ahmedabad This is a second postcard I purchased in the shop at Gandhi's headquarters The painting of this image is on view. 

It's Olympic year so a good opportunity to use the latest Olympic stamps from India . One of the sports I had a big interest in is shown here. Badminton . I travelled Europe as a Umpire and enjoyed it very much. Apart from playing the game itself for many years. India won a Silver medal in this sport . The Postmark is a special postmark and is only in use if you mail at the postbox outside Gandhi's Museum/Headquarters. 

Asia-India-Ahmedabad During my desperation to find a card in Ahmedabad I purchased this one sided card from the Post office. As it happens I was here for Independence day and India issued a stamp. So in memory of that special day I had to purchase this miniature sheet. It is also inscribed "Tourism in India" 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Ahmedabad - India

Asia-India-Ahmedabad This is a postcard I purchased at Sabarmati Ashram the Gandhi's headquarters from 1917 to 1930 during the long struggle for Indian Independence.  I was in this city for work so had one day to see some of its charms. With a population of over 5 million it was near impossible to find a postcard . I did find none of the city itself or the state of Gujarat. I would suspect it is not a state with a big tourist draw. 

Unfortunately I had to cover up some of the text on the back of the card. I mailed this at the GPO in Ahmedabad. There was a philatelic counter, but it was not manned. So after a few minutes I discovered it was in fact within the Post office itself. So it was there I was able to choose from a good selection of current Indian Issues.

This is the inside of the Post office. A very busy office .  

One of the Post office vehicles  getting cleaned

 This should be the Philatelic Counter but in fact it was not manned. The line is for something else.

The Mail boxes outside

The Entrance to the GPO in Ahmedabad

Rare maybe the first time I have put a photo of myself at work. Always enjoyable.

The World Heritage site at Rani-Ki-Vav build in 1063. A magnificent step well. Well worth the visit . About 3 hours outside the city

Finally a icon of the city of Ahmedabad .. The window carved in stone . The Tree of life. 

Monday, 22 August 2016

Mogadishu - Somalia

Africa-Somalia-Mogadishu  A postcard from Somalia is as rare as hens teeth as we would say in Ireland. Here is the old Italian lighthouse in the city harbour. Just beside here is the beach. You can see the same type of photo on the earlier photos I took when here. I had always wanted to visit Somalia since I had not managed to gain entry in 2011.  So I was delighted to be able to find  . At first I wondered was there really a tourist company in Somalia ? Well as it turned out there sure was. They looked after me very well . It was great learning about life in Mogadishu . I was able to see all the city . 

This is the first time most will have seen the new postmark at the GPO in Mogadishu. I was so pleased to be able to visit the Post office itself. While there I was able to cancel my postcards with the assistant of the Post office . They even had some stamps available from stock . As you already know there is just incoming mail and no outgoing mail at present. But that is soon to change according to the Director general of the Post and Telecommunications in Somalia. 

Friday, 12 August 2016

Post Office - Mogadishu Somalia

It was a big hope for me to visit the Post office in Mogadishu. In fact I did better then that and also had a meeting with the Director General of the Ministary of Post and Telecommunications .

Here is the Director General of the Post after our meeting in Mogadishu. 
There is no out going mail at present , just incoming with an arrangement with Emirates Post. The mail arrives twice a week .  If they put a mobile number on the package or letter the Post office will call you and you can collect. 

Here is the breaking news -
The DG Ahmed Haji Abdi, has just come back from a meeting with Djibouti Government. As a result of this Somalia will launch outgoing mail in early 2017, so a full functioning Post Office. All outgoing mail will go via Djibouti. New Stamps are being planned at this time for release .  I am now in personal contact with the DG and will have more up to date news . I will publish it here. 

That outside of the Post office known still as the GPO. This is the original Post office from the 1970 and has been somewhat restored. 

The entrance to the Post Office. The only function at the present is to collect mail. You must pass a security check. 

The inside of the GPO now restored and getting ready for business in early 2017. 

Here I am with the Deputy of the Postal section. 

I was delighted to find that Somalia still has issues available. I had asked had they any stamps and was surprised and delighted find yes they did. These stamps were from the "Philatelic ".  

Here I am with a Postcard I brought with me and some of the stamps that the Post office has. These are now new issues but from their stock.  As you can see there is in fact a new postmark. 

Post office boxes that will be back in use. 

Incoming mail from Emirates Post. This is the mail they have that they can't find the person. A phone number is needed on the address or else it can't be delivered. Amazing one of those sacks is full of mail was due to go to Solomon Islands. But it ends up in Somalia instead. So now Solomon Post. Now you know where all your missing mail is !!!

This is me outside the main building. 

Here is the new cancellation. First time to be seen.  Somalia Post to open 3 post offices in early 2017. Staff just back from training in Djibouti. New stamps will be released.