Wednesday, 31 July 2013

New Zealand

Pacific Ocean-New Zealand-Auckland  Auckland the gateway to New Zealand. I had been here in the early 1990s and felt it was like Ireland 20 years before that. Since then it had changed progressed a lot. A beautiful country with great food , scenery and people. In Auckland noticed a large increase in immigration since the last time. 

New Zealand operates a number of different postal operators . This stamp is from Universal mail. They have their own postboxes. But as you can see no postmark? 

Pacific Ocean-New Zealand-Palmerston North   I came here to stay on a farm. This area was very rural and beautiful . 

This time I used a regular New Zealand Post stamp. 

Pacific Ocean-New Zealand-Wellington  Wellington is marketed as "The coolest little capital in the world " by New Zealand tourism. It is very easy to get around as being quite small . Parliament sits  here. 

This postcard has the dreded double postmark. New Zealand and Ireland. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Germany

Europe-Germany-Aachen  Visited Aachen while in Cologne. This is a large Cathedral built in 786, It is a World Heritage Site. 

Here we have the standard German Definitive issues. 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Northern Ireland and Ireland

Europe-Northern Ireland-Armagh-Armagh City  This is centre of the Catholic church in Ireland. It has two cathedrals. 

This is a United Kingdom stamp featuring a part of Northern Ireland. 

Europe-Ireland-Waterford-Waterford City    Here you can see Waterford from the Bridge that you cross into going into Waterford. Waterford is famous for its Glass. Most of the production is now outside Ireland. But still a small outlet to go with and to understand the process of making the Glass. 

In 2005 the Tall Ships came to Waterford. So the stamp shows a tall ship. 

Europe-Ireland-Tipperary-Clonmel   Clommel is not a very exciting town to visit. 

A nice butterfly stamp. This postcard was mailed in Clonmel but processed in Port Laoise which is near the centre of Ireland. 

Europe-Northern Ireland-Down-Hillsborough  This area is a very nice town to visit. It is a picturesque Georgian Village with historic landmarks. Just across the border from Ireland. 

The stamp on the right is a Northern Ireland Definitive featuring the Giants Causway which is a World Heritage site. 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Zanzibar and Tanzania

Africa-Zanzibar-Stone Town  .Zanzibar a little bit magical . You clearly know you are in Islamic part of Tanzania. The old town along the the front facing the sea is very interesting. Lots to see from Spice to the slave trade. Old Stone Town is a World Heritage Site. 

The Main Post office in Stone Town, well the postmark is Shangani which is the area of the Post office. The Post office had lots of stamps to choose from . The most tourists I had seen in the whole of this voyage where here. Unfortunately the Irish Post office also have their postmark on this too. 

Africa-Tanzania-Dar Es Salaam   The main commercial city in Tanzania. Not a lot to see here apart from the Museum. So the postcards reflect that with no postcard of Dar Es Salaam . Here is a rural scene. I like this postcard . 

The Post office here was quite chaotic . A lot going on. Not as organised as Zanzibar. 

Tanzania-Dar Es Salaam Well this is the ship "Island Sky" that took me safely around the islands with about 60 other passengers. A great trip. This ship had been home for 3 weeks and a ship I have been on a few times. When you want to get to remote Islands it is smaller ships you need to go on. 

The final postcard on this trip. At least finishing off with a nice postmark. Trip finished on January 4 2008. So another year of postcards gone and more interesting ones for 2008. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Mayotte and Mozambique

Indian Ocean-Mayotte-Mamoudzou The home of perfume here. This is the island that many of the scents you find in perfume is home. A very nice Island . Since I have been here it is now a part of France and the European Union . 

Just a small selection of stamps at the Post office. This is a Mayotte Stamp. But now being part of France , French stamps are used. 

Africa-Mozambique-Pemba  Still on the cruise which started in the Seychelles and now in Pemba. You could still see the effects of the long war in Mozambique, here in Pemba. Buildings were in a pretty poor state. There were two main hotels by the beach and they were of a high standard. 

As I arrived here on a Sunday , I had arranged to purchase stamps in advance . So the hotel posted these. The Postboxes outside the Post office had seen better days and I would think they are not in use. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Indian Ocean- Seychelles and Zil Elwannyen Sesel

Indian Ocean-Seychelles-Praslin   This Island is famous for the Coco de mer . You can see the nut on the top right. This area is a World Heritage site. Very nice and a beautiful beach. A perfect Island paradise. 

Here you see the Coco de mer again on the stamp. A little Post office here  .

Indian Ocean-Seychelles-La Digue   Many people would say this is the best beach in the Indian Ocean. It certainly is right up there. Soft white sand. Spend most of my time  here in the sea.. 

The Postmark here says "Sub Post office La Digue". 

Indian Ocean-Zil Eilwannyen Sesel -Desroches  This is the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. Desroches is a luxury resort. Got here while on a cruise around the Islands. It has a small village on one end of the Island and on the other is Desroches Resort. There is one road that leads up here. 

When arriving on the Island passengers were told not to go up to the Resort as it was out of bounds.But somehow I had to get there to send  a Postcard. So I made my way up . While on the Island it was said that Prince William and Kate where here. This was December 26 2007. So I can understand why they would not want any invited visitors. Most guests arrive by chartered plane. When I arrived up into the resort , I was met with shock and horror. How did I get here? Who was I? So on. I just explained and said I only wanted to buy a postcard. So I was escorted to the front desk where I purchased a postcard. They said it was not much good as they had no stamps at present. I surprised the Manager by producing stamps for the Postcard as I had brought them with me. The is no Post office here so the card was send by the hotel to Mahe for mailing out. 

Indian Ocean-Zil Eilwannyen Sesel-Aldabra  This Island was the main reason for my entire trip. It is a fantastic Island to visit. There is a limited range of ships that visit here every year. I would say a handful if that. Famous for the Aldabra Tortoises. Even more impressive is the scenery around the Islands. It is a great place to do a float dive . I have so many photos from here this postcard does this Island do the island  justice. Look it up on the net . Having a drink on the Island as you sit with the many Tortoises. This is a one of my highlights from all my travels. For a while it was out of bounds as the Somali Pirates operated in these waters. I believe now it is safe to visit.

It is very appropriate to have these Zil Eiwannen Sesel Stamps with a Christmas theme. This card was posted on December 30 ,2007. These stamps were issued when there was a travelling Post Office to the outer Islands. The Post office boat sang and that was the end of that. So now only Seychelles Stamps. There is not a Post office on Aldabra. There is no residents as such . Only special research people and the Government official in charge. 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Denmark, Madeira and France 3 World Heritage Sites.

Europe-Denmark-Jelling  This is a World Heritage site where previous Kings of Denmark are buried. 

Getting a good selection of stamps in Denmark is not easy. Posted in Jelling in Jutland. 

Atlantic Ocean-Madeira-Levadas Funchal  My second time to visit. This time I did the walk of the Levadas. It is exactly like these pictures on the Postcard. There are no white sandy beaches on the main Island so one must relax by hotel  swimming pools. 

Portugal issues stamps especially for Madeira . However at the main Post office in Funchal in Madeira they were issuing regular Portuguese stamps. I had to go to the Philatelic section to get Madeira stamps . You will see the   Madeira under the Portugal name on the stamp .

Europe-France-Mont Saint Michel  A great World Heritage site to visit. But if you want to pay for the most expensive pancakes in the world this is the place. I stumbled into a pancake restaurant and enjoyed the pancake. I was wondering why loads of Japenese tourists were taking my photo. I was the only one eating. I then noticed all the famous people like Prime Ministers who had eaten here as there photos was on the wall. One Pancake = 40 Euro.. The story is much longer then this, but I wont bore you with the details only to say the restaurant did a deal when they seen how shocked I was. 

Here we see the A380 Airbus. The postcard has a double postmark one from France and another from Ireland. I have not as yet been on a A380. So look forward to the day. 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Central African Republic and Chad.

Africa-Central African Republic-Bangui   Arriving here late at night you know you had arrived in Darkest Africa . Not much electricity. Was told not to go to far out of the Capital Bangui as was told there was rebels always ready to attack So certainly a strange feeling . Did go out to a Desert town , all ok. Except car had to have wheel change and that was a bit fun watching a tyre change in the desert. This Postcard shows the items for sale at the local Market. Also famous for Butterflies here . 

The Lady who runs the Central Post office in Bangui should get an award. She was so well dressed and was so pleased to show me the stamps . Nothing was any trouble. She was proud of this small Philatelic Section at the Post Office. They must have had stamps going back to the 1960s. Enjoyed the hour or so spend there , talking about the stamps and the Post office. The Postmark has Philatelic in the title . Like the way the date is in pen. 

Africa-Chad-Ndjamena   Here with this postcard you get some idea of the sand roads. Everything here is sand and more sand. When here the French were certainly not popular so I had to keep making it clear I was from Ireland. 

At this Post office , again they had a selection of stamps . This was a clean crisp Post office. This Postcard also ended up getting a Philatelic Postmark. 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon

Africa-Equatorial Guinea-Malabo   Arrived in Malabo 2 days later then planned due to a  missed connection in London. E-Guinea is a very difficult place to get a visa for as a tourist. The nearest Embassy to Ireland, was in UK and they would not issue visas for travel to E-Guinea unless sponsored. This was due to the Coup that took place in 2004. When I explained I was a tourist it did not make any difference. I had arranged to go with 2 other Americans on this trip. Americans don't need a visa due that many work here in the Oil industry  from Houston and it would be a nightmare organising visas here for work. So I sent the 3 applications to the Embassy in Washington DC and got back 2 passports as not needed and mine had the visa stamp.  The Security here for the President is very heavy. The hotel is right beside the Presidential Palace which is just on the sea. Walking one foot on the wrong side of the road towards the Palace would have the Guards pull guns . This Postcard shows the main street that leads up to the Gates of the Palace. Taking Photos was forbidden in most parts of town, but in fact I did not know that until I was reading information on departure. I had the photos taken at this stage. A very green country due to the tropical rain. 

The Post office in Malabo was a old run down building. Not very busy and buying stamps was a bit of an adventure here. They had lots to show you , all in sort of a bundle. Nothing organised. 

Africa-Equatorial Guinea-Annobon   Annobon had a once a week flight when I was here. It is a little out of the way. Being a Island lover I wanted to go. Got over here and could see it was very poor. However when the crew landed they all have to go for lunch in the luxury hotel owned by the President. So off I went with the crew and had lunch courtesy of the Airline. Spend a little bit of time walking around the village and seeing life here. Very basic. The Airport consists of one desk outside beside the runway !! You check in there and then they put your baggage in a wheelbarrow . 

After managing to get a Postcard of Annobon in Malabo , I discovered that when I got to Annobon there was no Post office. So I took the Postcard  back to Malabo where it was posted . 

Africa-Cameroon-Douala    Douala is the commercial capital of Cameroon .  This area was quite French. Not a lot to see here but quite safe. So spend the evenings by the pool relaxing. 

The Philatelic section was closed when I was here. So no choice of stamps. These I got at the stamp counter. Stamps showing cooperation between Japan and Cameroon.