Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Russia and Abkhazia

Europe-Russia-Sochi  I was here in 2010, well before the Olympic Games. But you could see all the building work going on while here. Not one of my favourite parts of Russia. 

I had a interesting discussion with the Post office re these stamps. It relates to the two stamps commemorating the 2nd World War. The Post office when I gave them the Postcard to mail, said the stamps on the top were for collectors and I would have to buy " Regular Stamps".. So I did. They were two definitive stamps. You can see one here in green. The other one got removed at some point. I guess they decided after I paid that I did not need that stamp and it was reused.. This happens occasionaly when the Post office does not wish to recognise the stamps that were issued by the Philatelic Section. 

Asia-Abkhazia-Sukhum   Many would say this is part of Georgia. Abkhahazia is the breakaway republic within Georgia. However it is intersting to note, that the people here always had a different language then the rest of Georgia.. Getting a visa here is not too difficult, but getting a Double Entry visa to go back into Russia was. The Russian Embassy in Dublin could not understand why I needed a Double entry visa and more or less told me I could not visit Abkhazia . In the end after 3 visits I got the visa. Strangely enough, Abkhazia is a beautiful "Country" to visit. I had 3 great days here. When here it was full of Russian Tanks , but hidden . The capital Sukhum is very nice , with great views over the sea..  

The trip to the Post office was a event in itself. The Post office really only sells Russian Stamps. Abkhazia stamps are only valid for internal mail. In effect they are never used. I had to try and find someone higher up in the Post office to get me Abkhazia stamps. That was in a small office upstairs after I told the official I would pay more then the value of the stamps! Problem one sorted. Then I went down to mail the postcard at the normal counter only to find that I now needed Russian stamps. All the Russian stamps they had were on prepaid envelopes. So I could put this postcard in a envelope and send it out. I explained that would not work for me. So I went back up to my  good Official and explained I needed Russian stamps. After 10 minutes they found some and I was able to mail my postcard. As you can see the mail goes out via Sochi and it has to have Russian stamps and it is postmarked there too. A postcard from Abkhazia is a rare sight. Because Abkhazia is not recognised and mail not guaranteed to go through the international system. Of course my Russian stamps problem should have been ok, but you may recall I lost them in Moscow so had no extra Russian stamps with me. Hence I was fortunate to get this Postcard mailed. Just a extra foot note. South Ossetia use Russian stamps so I have no plans to visit that area. 

6 comments:

  1. David, I think in Sochi there was a problem with the Post Office ladies but not with stamps... Stamps with tanks are considered in Russia as usuall ones, I used them in 2012 when I was sending some postcards from St Pete and there was no any problems.

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  2. Hello love your collection.... can you explain to me where i can find one Abkhazia written and stamp card for my collection http://world88postal.wix.com/postal

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  3. Your postcards from Abkhazia inspired me a lot, and I decided to achieve the goal. You can see the result here. Thanks a lot !
    http://www.worldairmail.blogspot.in/search/label/ABKHAZIA

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