Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Europe

Europe-Albania-Progradec  This is really the other side of Lake Ohrid from the Albanian side. Not quite as pretty in my opinion. Going across the border from Macedonia I encountered what I called the "Car Doctors".  The Border guards were wearing white coats like a doctor would. They were there to make sure my car tyres were disinfected washed and cleaned. They did that with the white coats on. It was quite funny to watch. There were a lot of sunbathers by the lake and was quite a busy place. Nearby was an amazing small orthodox church packed with locals. A magical sight with candles burning and lots of icons being kissed. 

Was surprised to find such good stamps at the post office in Progradec. 

Europe-Kosovo-Pristina  Well the drivers here are quite crazy. On the long straight drive down from Skopje the drivers were on both sides of the road going in the same direction with cars coming in the opposite direction. It was like something out of a movie. They have a main avenue called Bill Clinton boulevard.  Lots of Albanian flags about. This postcard says Prizren on the front. I did not visit Prizren but could not find a postcard with Pristina on it. I was told that Prizren is the main tourist draw. Still I enjoyed Pristina. No snow on the day I was there. But did see lots of United Nations soldiers about.  

Kosovo uses the Euro currency. This stamp was issued during the UN time in Kosovo. It has on the side of the stamp United Nations interim administration mission in Kosovo. What a mouthful for sure.. lol. Still a good clean postmark. 

Europe-Macedonia-Skopje  Well what an eventful trip this was. On the top left you see the stone bridge.  This is considered to be the symbol of Skopje. On the bottom left is the Turkish side which in my opinion was the most interesting. Good to sit with the locals and chat and watch the world go by.  Went to the famous old train station which was devastated by the earthquake in 1963. When the earthquake struck at 5.17 on 2nd July 1963, the clock stopped and it shows the same time as when disaster struck.  I stood at the clock at exactly 5.17.  While I was sitting in the hired car a taxi driver drove into the back of my car, as I looked at the train station. Well he drove off quickly and I ended up missing my flight. So an extra night in Skopje. 

These were a set of beautiful stamps issued for the Olympics in Athens 2004. In fact I had to make 3 visits to the central Post Office in Skopje. On the first two occasions they had no stamps. They offered to take the payment and they would put the stamps on the card. I accepted this. But on second thoughts on my 3rd day I went back. Then the stamps counter was open. I purchased the stamps and send the postcard number 3. Needless to say only this postcard made it back home. One has to be careful paying for postage when one does not get any stamps!!! 

Europe-Sweden-Malmo  Just a train journey away from Copenhagen. The main square in the postcard was the main attraction here. Some market stalls and just a good place to people watch. 

Sweden issues a lot of recess printed stamps. This is an older style of printing and is often very beautiful to look at. These stamps were available from the Post office on a roll. 

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