Monday, 30 September 2013

Spain , an Enclave and Balearic Islands

Europe-Spain-Llivia  An unusual village to visit. It is actually an enclave in France. A small village, but I always like villages like this that are surrounded by another country. 

It is two stamps featuring King Carlos. I could not find the post office here, so not sure if there was one. But put the mail in a local postbox. You can see the faint Llivia postmark. 

Europe-Spain-Barcelona  Here is a postcard featuring Hospital de Sant Pau. Right in the middle of Barcelona . This former hospital was a great complex to visit. You will see a modern style of architecture. This is a World Heritage Site. 

There are many post offices in Barcelona . Not always easy to get a good selection of stamps though. Have to go to the main Post office . 

Europe-Balearic Islands-Ibiza-Ibiza City   Well my first visit to Ibiza. My second  holiday ever as a 7 year old was to Majorca another Balearic Island. The old town is itself a World Heritage site. It really only comes alive late at night. I had arrived about 3pm in the day and was very dead. Everyone was on siesta. But from 10pm to 3am it is buzzing every night. Great to walk around and take it all in. 

A clear Ibiza Postmark. 

Europe-Balearic Islands-Formentera  Just a short ferry ride away from Ibiza and another world. Old Spain in parts. The biodiversity in this area makes it part of the Ibiza World Heritage site.

I like that this postmark has Illes Balerars , so Balearic Islands. 

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Arctic - Spitsbergen

Europe-Spitsbergen-Svalbard-Longyearbyen  Here in Svalbard on my Arctic trip , last stop. On the way yes I did see Polar bears from the ship . Bright all the time up here , Sunshine at 3am in the morning. 

Posted in the main Post office in Longyearbyen . Norwegian stamps showing the Arctic. 

Europe-Spitsbergen-Svalbard-Longyearbyen  This is the Grigoriy Mikheev the ship I was on from Oceanwide Expeditions. The same company I had gone with in the Antarctic. A Russian ship with Russian Crew. These ships were released for use after the cold war, but many have now gone back into use for the Russian Government. 

Another stamp from the Arctic stamp set. Wish they had  a Longyearbyen postmark. 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Back Home

Hi All, well back home now safely in Dublin. Came back to a busy work week and jet lag. Just about over it  now. This trip was a little unusual . I had been to Samoa and Fiji before so interesting to see differences since over 30 years ago when I was there. Christmas Island was amazing and a great surprise. Wallis and Fortuna had a very enjoyable time . Manly due to the family that our group stayed with. Great food and wonderful hosts. Tonga was not as exciting as I had hoped, but I will be back some day..
So it is back to the regular Blog now. I will start back where I had left off .
In the Arctic. So you will see a update tomorrow. Thats all my main travels for this year. Next year. Africa.
Thanks to all for the messages I received and hope I answered you all.. David
PS. I got all the postcards back . The Cards from American Samoa were not postmarked.As many of you know I dont usually put up cards with no postmark or at least cancellation of some sort.  So I plan to get in touch with the Post office in Pago Pago and send them back so I can receive them with Postmarks. 

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Niuafo'ou another time.

September 11 was due to be my long waited flight to Niuafo'ou. It is the most northern of the islands in the Tonga group. All u stamp collectors know that there are separate stamps for Niuafo'ou issued by Tonga post. Flights are due to go every two weeks or you can go by ship 4 times per year !!  However it was not to be. I had previously paid and got my ticket for this expensive flight. But when I arrived at the airport the flight was not on the departure board. In fact there has not been flight to Niuafo'ou for at least two months. Here u see the complaint box. Real Tonga airlines or as I call it "Not real Tonga Airlines" don't have enough aircraft to operate the routes they sell. So I ended up being very good friends with the staff at the check in. They were amazed I had come all the way from Ireland to fly to Niuafo'ou. So here u see one of my postcards for Niuafo'ou on their notice board at the airport. The maybe good news is that I have left a number of cards with Niuafo'ou stamps to be sent to Niuafo'ou by plane or ship when there is one !! I have befriended the staff and the key manager of the airline. So it is likely that real postcards sent from there will come back at some time. However my future goal is to get there by ship or plane in the future. I guess I am now the famous guy from Ireland who wants to go to Niuafo'ou. So Real Tonga Airlines know me well. Anna in Tonga post offered to stamp my postcards with Niuafo'ou postmark but I said no. Anna informed me that first day covers for Niuafo'ou are in fact sent from Nuku'alofa. So another time to visit Niuafo'ou.  

Tonga Post

Arrived in Tonga. Here I am with Anna who looks after the stamp counter in Nuku'alofa the capital of Tonga. They have a great selection of stamps.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Wallis and Fortuna

Wallis and Fortuna is a French Territory in the Pacific. Here on Wallis Island . The capital is Mata Utu. At this time the Mini Pacific games is on, so a very busy island. Now is not really any good beaches unless you go off to a small islet in the lagoon and you need a small boat to get there. Here you see the airport, and a crater lake. Wallis is famous for its many churches. Finally the Post office . A great selection of stamps available and a full functioning Philatelic office to visit. 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Tokelau not yet !!

Tokelau was due to be my next stop. Getting there is not easy. One way be ship. However the dates keep changing and I had already amended and cancelled flights to make the latest changes. Getting a permit also proved very difficult. It was only when I made contact with a friend of a friend on Tokekau that I managed to secure permits to visit all three islands. 
As arranged I went to the Tokelau office in Apia -Samoa to process the final paperwork on Monday as the ship was departing on Tuesday. However due to a medical emergency the ship had left on Saturday. So it will have to be another time. 
At least I have all the contacts now to get there. Such are the joys of travelling to smaller islands. So it's back to Fiji again. Next stop Levuka the first Capital of Fiji. 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Spend 3 days here in Samoa. The inside of the main Post Office in Apia and a selection of recent stamps issued for sale. Some images of landmarks in Apia. The House of Robert Louis Stevenson. The beaches on the south east of the island are excellent as u can see and enjoyed swimming here. 

American Samoa

Enjoyed the stay in Pago Pago American Samoa. There is only one Post office here and no mail boxes!!  It is very picturesque with the backdrop of the mountains and the national Park.