Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Russia, Georgia and Nakhchivan

Europe-Russia-Moscow   This postcard has a good selection of the sights of Moscow. I do recall the museums and the Art galleries. The prices had jumped since my last visit. Loved the borsch soup . 

Visiting the Main Post office in Moscow is interesting. They have a philatelic section upstairs. A great selection of stamps. If you go to the normal stamp counter you will only get definitive stamps. These stamps are quite large. I always put the stamps on before I write a postcard as you don't know the size of the stamp or stamps required. 

Asia-Azerbaijan-Baku  When I arrived here it was a bit of a shock to the system. The smell of oil and  loads of overground oil and gas pipes everywhere. Some of it looked  pretty bad. However I had a great stay here. A friend of mine was working for BP so I got a driver and seen all the sights. I am told it has changed a lot since 2006 when this visit took place. 

The post office here suggested I put my postcard inside a envelope to mail. I had a chat with the postmaster and  all was well. The Postcard went out without a envelope. 

Asia-Nakhchivan-Nakhchivan City  Nakhchivan is an autonomous  area of Azerbaijan . This area was in a major war with Armenia in the 1980s. I had a great visit here. Arranging flights in advance from Baku was a not easy. In fact when boarding the plane they had overbooked and tried to suggest that I had no seat, even though I had a  boarding card. I had to be firm and took my seat. 

This is one of the rarest areas to get a postcard from. So I am very  pleased to have this card. In fact  I was told not to expect to get this card back in the post. But it did. In cases like this I tend to spend a bit more time in the Post office and try to chat with the counter staff. In this case I had an interpretor  of course. This Azerbaijan stamp shows Nakhchivan also known as Naxcivan. 

Asia-Turkmenistan-Ashgabat  You would not know from this  card but Ashgabat is a very modern city, built from the proceeds of oil and gas. So spent time visiting large museums with nobody else in them. Getting a visa here was a process in itself. Every time I went out of the city there was checkpoints to check the visa had the required cities listed on the visa. Still the camel market was certainly a highlight.  

I was surprised  that the post office in Ashgabat had only a lot of low value stamps. So it would have needed about 8 stamps to mail this postcard to Europe. However I found a miniature sheet which came up to the value required. 

Asia-Georgia-Tbilisi   I think many Georgians would say Georgia is in Europe. But  one could argue one way or another. Tbilisi a very lively city. The churches here were great to see, just outside Tbilisi. The taxi drivers here were certainly up to their old tricks and tried to charge more. But still a friendly bunch. 

I had a friend who had send me many cards from here but none arrived. So I sent postcards from 3 different locations . All arrived. So one never knows. A great selection of stamps were needed  to post the card. 

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