Thursday, 31 October 2013

Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry

Africa-Guinea Bissau-Bissau  Getting a flight to Guinea Bissau is not very  easy as they change a lot. So the best way was to get a direct flight from Lisbon. The centre of the city Bissau had seen better days. I was surprised to find most people speaking French instead of  Portuguese being a former colony. In most African countries you cannot visit the Presidential Palace. However here it had been already been badly damaged in the many coups that are here. So it was interesting to walk around. The president was now living in a compound near residential houses and not very secure. So only 3 months after I was here the President was killed trying to flee his house. I also went out to visit the islands in the bay of Guinea. Not sure it was such a good idea when I seen that it was a rust bucket. !! Guinea Bissau is one of those countries that when you arrive you go straight to the airline office to make sure you have a seat on the flight you have booked to get out or that the date has not changed. In fact here I had to pay the airline official to top up his personal phone so he could check my departure flight. As half expected it was not operating so I had to get on another flight. 

The staff in the large Post office down town were very helpful. This card has two postmarks. Reason is when there , I was able to postmark the card myself. But it got another in the mail. The Red one is the one I applied. 

Africa-Guinea-Conakry  Guinea Conakry as it is really known , was on edge when I was here. There had been issues with the army. So no photos could be taken anywhere. The hotel was near the Presidential Palace and every time I walked by, the guns were at the ready. This city was not as interesting as Bissau and could not visit outside the main city due to security  issues. On the day I was to leave for the airport the plane got cancelled. So the airline had to put me up for another night and I got out one day late. 

I was quite revealed to find the post office . There was a display of stamps in a cabinet and these were the latest issues as far as I could see. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

World Heritage Sites-Azores and Portugal

Atlantic Ocean-Azores-Pico Here you can see Mount Pico the highest Mountain in the Azores and Portugal. Around this area visited Volcanic vineyards which is also a World Heritage site. I was lucky on the day , I could nearly see the top . 

This card was posted in Sao Raque on the Island of Pico , Azores. 

Europe-Portugal-Sintra  The Royal Palace in Sintra is a fantastic site. Well worth the walk at the end up the hill. Lots of different styles of architecture . Inside well furnished. Another World Heritage Site. 

I have posted many postcards in Lisbon over the years and most do not end up with a postmark. So this one passed the test.  Was back in Lisbon and on my way to Africa. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Atlantic Ocean-Azores-Terceira   Here is the main square Angra do Heroismo . This is exactly how it looks in the evening. The Azores was a bit of  a surprise in that more to see then I had expected. Sort of like Old Portugal. This town is a well deserved World Heritage Site . 

To my surprise the stamps on offer at the Post office were only Portuguese. I mean surprise in that they had no optional Azores stamps. So I had to buy a booklet from the Philatelic section to get some Azores stamps. 

Atlantic Ocean-Azores-Faial-Horta  This is the island of Faial  and flew here on way to Pico . 

Another stamp from the Azores Booklet. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Germany and France - World Heritage Sites.

Europe-Germany-Essen  Was working in Cologne, so took at trip to Essen. Zollverein coal mine is a World Heritage site. Very interesting to visit. 

Two regular definitive stamps with a clear postmark 

Europe-France-Reims The Cathedral in Reims, a large magnificent site. Also a World Heritage Site. 

A stamp  from a miniature sheet . 

Friday, 25 October 2013

More Ireland

Europe-Ireland-Kerry-Kenmare  Certainly one of my favourite parts of Ireland to visit. In the south west . Kerry is famous for the "Ring of Kerry" and its beauty. The small town is full of life. 

In Ireland we no longer have local postmarks, so have to do with inkjets from one of the sorting offices. 

Europe-Ireland-Longford  The only is St.Mels Cathedral. Unfortunately it was destroyed a few years ago with fire. It is currently being restored at high  cost. Longford is usually a place you pass through on the way or from Sligo. 

This stamp is showing a castle in Co.Antrim, which is actually in Northern Ireland 

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Europe-Ireland-Portlaoise Since I have got to the end of 2008  travel with this blog , now about time I posted up some Irish cards. I dont put them in the normal order. I generally have one for every county in Ireland 32 including Northern Ireland. So this is Portlaoise, the sort of town I  pass through on the way to somewhere else. 

The best thing about the back of the card is the stamp. Showing a Window pane. 

Europe-Ireland-Limerick  Limerick is right where the Shannon river meets the sea, the longest river in Ireland. It is also one of our larger cities. When I think of Limerick I think of the Munster Rugby team which are based here . 

You can see in Ireland we are very pro European Union, maybe too much!!  

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Middle East-Lebanon-Byblos The coastal town of Byblos north of Beirut. A World Heritage site, but not as exciting as Baalbeck. 

A large stamp with a large postmark. !! 

Middle East-Lebanon-Beit Eddine  This was the summer palace of the President of Lebanon. Long before that, it was the Emir's residence. Really enjoyed this visit. 

Lebanon must love large stamps.. The former Prime Minister of the Republic Hariri . 

Middle East-Lebanon-Tyre  This World Heritage Site right in the south of Lebanon is beside the border with Israel. So lots of security in this area when I visited. At this stage I had seen too many similar sights and they all started to look the same.. lol. 

My final stop in Lebanon . 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Syria and Lebanon World Heritage Sites.

Middle East-Syria-Aleppo The big attraction here was The Citadel. You can see in the top of this postcard. A fantastic walled city. Walking up to the citadel was a thrill in itself. I believe the city has been quite badly damaged now. 

This is a unperforated miniature sheet . Maybe the first I have used in my postcard collection. 

Middle East-Lebanon-Baalbeck   I flew from Allepo to Damascus . Then a driver across the border to Beirut. Without any doubt the best site in Lebanon to visit. It was breathtaking and a complete surprise to see this quality of site. I had a local guide to show me around. Not to be missed. 

Postmarked in the Post office in Baalbeck. I only noticed now that I never did get my postcard from Beirut . 

Sunday, 20 October 2013


Middle East-Syria-Crac des Chevaliers   This is a large Castle with a great view. This postcard does not do it justice.This is a World Heritage Site. 

Posted nearby town as the castle is on a stand alone site. 

Middle East-Syria-Hama This area is famous for its watermills. It is a major part now of the opposition to the government.  

Hard to read this postcard. Posted in Hama. 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Syria - World Heritage Sites

Middle East-Syria-Bosra  Here you see the ancient city of Bosra and the Amphitheatre. This was another excellent site. In very good condition , considering its age. 

Posted in Bosra but postmarked with Soueida . 

Middle East-Syria-Palmyra  Often considered the must see location in Syria. Got a bus here from Damascus . Very large as you can see . You need transport to get around it. But clearly shows what the city of Palmyra must have looked like. Not to be missed. 

Stamps issued for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 which is the year of this visit. A Palmyra postmark. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Lebanon and Syria

Middle East-Lebanon-Anjar  Arrived in Beirut and stopped here on the way to the border with Syria. These foundations are from the 8th Century . It is a surprisingly large site and spend some time here visiting. I had wanted to go to Lebanon before but did not due to security issues. Most of the sites I visited on this trip were World Heritage , like this one. 

A large stamp and also a large Postmark. 

Middle East-Syria-Damascus  Without doubt one of my favourite cities in the Middle East. It was very friendly and so much to see in this historical place. Here you see the Gate going into the old city. I was lucky to visit in 2008 , before the security issue changed. Damascus was a pure joy from the bazaar in the old city to the outskirts. Lucky to have seen it at this time. the Ancient city is a World Heritage Site.  

I found it difficult to find postcards in Damascus. Luckily I found a shop near the Post office. The main Post office Philatelic section had limited selection. Though they had a large choice of stamps featuring Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Belgium World Heritage Sites

Europe-Belgium-Brussels  This postcard is showing a part of the Staircase in the house of Victor Horta in Brussels. This is in a Art Nouveau style. Really liked my visit here , pity I could not get a better postcard. A World Heritage Site. 

I have looked at this stamp many times and I just cant see the value on it. Am I missing something? 

Europe-Belgium-Bruges   I had to visit here after seeing the Irish film " In Bruges" . It was well worth the track . A charming old city with much to see. I did climb the tower you see at the bottom centre in the postcard for great views. Also a World Heritage Site. 

On this stamp you can sure see the value. In Belgium, I find it difficult to get a good selection of stamps at any post office. 

Europe-Belgium-Bruges  This is a special convent I visited. Very quite and serene. The last of my World Heritage stops on this Belgium trip. 

This is another stamp from the music set which I cant locate the value. ??