понедельник, 27 апреля 2009 г.

Cover from Portugal

There is another europa cover for my collection! For this time it has come from Portugal. The cover has an interesting cancellation, devoted to the 2009 Forum of stamp collectors. Thank you, Nuno for growing my Europa collection!

Urban Public Transport - 2nd Group
Tecnical Data
Urban Transport in the inter-war years
The Paris Universal Exhibition opened on Saturday 14th April 1900. It covered a vast area between Champ-de-Mars, Invalides, Trocadero and the Champs-Elysées. In July of the same year, the first Metro line, 10 km long between Porte de Vincennes and Porte Maillot, was opened by President Emile Loubet, its cast-iron entrances celebrating the undulating lines of Art Nouveau; it was a century which began under the sign of illusions, a century in which everything was dreamlike(1).
1900 in Lisbon was “the time when shop windows and streets were lit by Auer gaslights, when shop assistants left work at eleven at night, only to return, still half asleep, at eight the next morning. If you were in a hurry, you would hire a cabor walk up the Avenida de Liberdade, overtaking the americanos (mule drawn street cars). The more democratic vehicles (the choras and bocetas) appeared to be about to pour their crammed in passengers onto the pavement whenever they crossed the rails” (2).
Until the mid-nineteenth century, Lisbon expanded along the Tagus, developing in a radial-concentric pattern from its nucleus in the Baixa around the end of the century. Until the mid-20th century the road system comprised the former Estrada da Circunvalação or ring road (Morais Soares, Maria Pia) and the radial roads of Lumiar, Benfica, Poço do Bispo and Algés-Dafundo. Urban development along the major arteries (Avenida da Liberdade and the Avenidas Novas or New Avenues) was followed by expansion in zones. Until the end of the 40s the city’s main means of transport was the tram, with a network covering 145 km.
In the first few years of the 20th century, there were several companies operating the Lisbon ferry routes to the “other side” of the Tagus. From its headquarters in Cais do Sodré, the Parceria dos Vapores Lisbonenses ran two ferries daily to Aldeia Galega (Montijo); the fares were 160 réis in the stern and 120 in the bow. On the Cacilhas route, fares varied between 60 réis in the stern and 40 in the bow during the week, with ferries leaving every 40 minutes. (3) In 1948, the number of passengers crossing the Tagus on public transport was 10,486,722. Lisbon was growing, in particular on the north bank; the south bank, meanwhile, was waiting for a bridge.
The Cascais railway section opened to the public in 1889. From the start it was dogged by poor operating profits, further aggravated in 1901 by competition from Carris and its electrically driven vehicles. With tram tickets a third of the price of train tickets, the tram was highly competitive, especially on the Algés route, with its beach, bullring and entertainments. In the light of these low profits, steam traction ultimately gave way to electric traction (1926).

воскресенье, 26 апреля 2009 г.

Covers from Poland

On the 16-th of April after 12 days of travelling I got these covers from Polish town Nowy Sacz. They celebrate the anniwersary of the Polish Custom service and the Conference whci was devoted to the climate change and took place in Poznan in 2008. I do believe that we must pay more attention to the climate now. I'm sure many people have heard vabput the fact that climate is changing rather quickly now. It's really dangerous! These conference attract much attention and I thibk that this stamp helps it. Thank you, Andrzej!

United Nations Conference on Climate Change - Poznan 2008
Between 1 and 12 December 2008 a conference took place in Poznan, organised by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The event was hosted by the Government of the Republic of Poland, and the Polish Ministry of Environment was responsible for coordinating the arrangements. The aim of the meeting, to which over 190 countries had sent their delegations, was among others to agree on a scheme of cooperation in the area of climate protection for the next year, to discuss the joint framework for the reduction of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by individual countries, and to settle some financial issues related to the exchange of technologies allowing for the reduction of the emissions of greenhouse gasses. The conference was accompanied by seminars, happenings and exhibitions. A similar meeting was held a year ago on Bali, and the next one is scheduled for 2009 in Copenhagen. Such international gatherings are crucial due to, among others, the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, which remains in force until 2012 and which constitutes an agreement between industrialised countries on the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gasses at home and supporting environmentally friendly technologies in less advanced states.
Changes to the climate and its preservationClimate change is a natural phenomenon which has occurred on our planet since its very beginnings. We know now that on the present territory of Poland there were once glaciers, and lush forests grew on the Sahara. However, the changes that accompanied the industrial revolution and the technological leap are presently a cause of great concern, even though it's still difficult to precisely evaluate their actual effect. Research into global climate change has only been conducted for about 20 - 30 years, the problem of the hole in the ozone layer was discovered as late as in the 70s of the last century. Also in the 20th century the Earth's population multiplied by four, and will probably further double in the 21st century. The occurrence of changes resulting from human activity gains in speed, and presently the main threat appears to be the increase in global temperature caused by the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere (35 billion tones per year). This may result in the meltdown of polar ice caps and flooding some of the planet's continents with oceanic waters. The above would lead to mass migration of people, extinction of numerous animal and plant species, the formation of deserts, and consequently - famine. Should it prove possible that certain actions in the economy of each country, its industry and even its households, could possibly change the situation, or at least put off some of the threats, then it's indeed worth trying. The preservation of the Earth's climate and its natural resources is not just a matter for the governments, but for each of us as well. The conference in Poznan contributed to launching the education campaign organised by the Ministry of Environment under the slogan "Change your habits for good ones, change the climate for a better one" (pol. Zmień nawyki na dobre, zmień klimat na lepszy"), whose aim is to make us aware that by using alternative energy sources, planting forests, saving water and electricity, segregating waste and reducing the consumption of petrol in our cars we can actually have a positive impact on out planet and the stability of its climate.

Some simple hints (and really useful in my opinion) :
- use energy-efficient light bulbs;
- buy home equipment which is fitted with facilities for saving energy and use it economically (e.g. do not leave the fridge doors open);
- deactivate the stand-by function which gorges energy all year round;
- turn off the tap when you wash your teeth;
- do not cook more water than you actually need - that way you'll save energy;
- recycled paper saves trees which convert CO2 into pure oxygen;
- decreasing the temperature in the home heating system by 1 degree reduces CO2 emissions by 300 kilograms a year;
- steady driving without unnecessary load, closing the windows and limiting the use of air conditioning mean smaller petrol consumption.

понедельник, 20 апреля 2009 г.

A great cover from Slovenia

On the 11-th of April after just 8 days of travelling I recieved this package with a big amounf of just amazing stamps! Unfortunately it was damaged enough during the travelling and was cover with rape, but I managed to safety come off it. Well, moving to the stamps, I really like these gastronomy ones. Don't the dishes look like tasty? Another Europa stamp for my collection! And The Olympiad stamps! The things which I really like! And the last stamp to mention - a dark one in the left coner, devoted to the 1-st WW. Nowaday we pay a great attention to the SWW which is justified, but we can't forget the first tragedy which results were really unfair and was one of the cause of the next greatest tragedy in the human history. That's a really useful stamp! Thank you so so much, Kristijan!

The term First World War indicates the military battle in the years 1914 until 1918. Although the majority of battles was conducted on the European ground, the conflict gained the label of a world war, since countries from all over the world were involved. The main players on the side of the entente were France, Russia, Serbia and United Kingdom, since 1915 also Italy, and since 1917 the Unites States of America. Germany, Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Turkey (Ottoman Empire) and Bulgaria fought on the side of the central forces. The reason for the war was a very fragile balance between the forces in Europe. Especially Germany demanded a new division of colonies; France wanted a revenge for the previous wars, while Italy wanted to expand its territory. Since 1882, Italy had been a member of the central forces; however, it changed its mind later due to a better offer of the entente.
The cause for the war was the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand, who was executed on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, member of the organisation Mlada Bosna. A month later, Austro-Hungarian monarchy declared war to the Kingdom of Serbia and tsarist Russia, which represents the beginning of the First World War.
The European battleground was divided to various fronts. The front line of Soča, between Italy and Austro-Hungarian monarchy, spread across the Slovenian national territory from Rombon to the Bay of Trieste, in the total length of 90 km. It was the stage of the biggest battle in mountain areas in the entire history of mankind, and due to an extremely rough terrain, one of the hardest battles in the world war. More than 300.000 soldiers of various nationalities fell from June 1915 to October 1917, among them also high numbers of Slovenes.
A characteristic of the First World War was the so-called position war, where the soldiers stayed a long time in the area along the front lines. They lived in trenches, pits and caverns enclosed with wire fence, which the designer used for a motive on the stamp. Although battles in some fronts finished already in an earlier stage, and truces between individual countries were signed, the First World War finished with the Truce Agreement between Germany and entente on the 11 November 1918 in Rethondes, around 65 km north-east from Paris.

Gastronomic characteristics of Zgornja Savinjska dolina Zgornjesavinjski želodec, ubrnjenik, solčavski sirnek

Zgornja Savinjska dolina is a gastronomically distinguishable with a variety of dishes, which co-shape the cultural heritage and modern nutrition in this part of Slovenia. The first place among these dishes is occupied by the zgornjesavinjski želodec, a remarkable dry-meat product with an extremely long tradition. It had a strong ceremonial importance during the time of Eastern, when the maturity of this product was at the level, which enabled the determination whether the procedure of production, ripening and drying had been correct. Even on weddings the guests waited with anticipation to receive slices of »želodec«. The circle of lovers of this extremely high quality meat product has spread through the development of tourism in this part of Slovenia since the second half of the 19th century. Even the English king George VI. was among the enthusiasts of zgornjesavinjski želodec; namely, he tried it in Plesnik in Logarska dolina. Nowadays, the »želodec« is a protected food with a »recognized geographical mark«, while its quality is to an important extent co-shaped by the annual competition in Rečica ob Savinji.
An important specialty of the culinary heritage of Zgornja Savinjska dolina is also ubrnjenik (also referred to as »ubrnjenk, obrnek, obrnenk«), which is a filling warm or cold mealy dish in the form of a dumpling, made of roasted wheat, buckwheat or corn flour, poured over by salted boiling milk, in which they stir whipped cream and butter or buttermilk. A special local preparation of ubrnjenik is known in Luče. The dish is appropriate for breakfast or as a snack, while in the past the dumplings of ubrnjenik were wrapped in fresh horse radish leaves, in order to be taken as a snack to the work in the woods, pastures or fields.
Solčavski sirnek is one of the preserved dishes, connected to a century-long tradition of shepherd and cheese maker's tradition. In the modern nutrition, this spicy cheese serves perfectly as a spread on black bread, while being used also for the preparation of cream soups or »sirnice«; primarily, it presents an obligatory supplement to the slices of zgornjesavinjski želodec, meat and salami. Modern production of sirnek deviates a little from the old methods. Cheese or curd ripens from three to four months, while some producers also add cumin, walnuts, spices and herbs.

XXIX. Summer Olympic Games Peking 2008

Top sports athletes will again gather this year at the most prestigious sporting event, which has been organized every four years since 1896 with the exception of the period between the two world wars. Olympic Games of the modern age were prepared on the initiative of Pierre de Coubertin, based on the model of the Olympic Games which were organized in the antique Greece from 776 B.C. to 394 A.D. In 1924, the winter sports were included among the Olympic sports and the first special winter Olympic Games were arranged.
Slovenian athletes participated on the Olympic Games the first time in Stockholm in 1912. Since then, Slovenian athletes have participated in all summer games with the exception of the 10th Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1932. This also further confirms the long-lasting tradition of Slovenian top-level sport. Slovenian athletes first took part within the frame of Yugoslavia, while after 1992, when the 16th Winter Olympic Games in Albertville and the 25th Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona were held, Slovenian athletes have been competing under the Slovenian flag.
Many Slovenian athletes will compete in this year's XXIX Olympic Games, which will be held in China for the first time. During the preparation of this publication their number was not final yet, since many athletes still had a chance to qualify until the 30th June 2008; however, they had to fulfil certain conditions, set by the international and Slovenian Olympic Committee. For the appearance on the Olympic Games there were 59 candidates in 12 disciplines: athletics, badminton, sailing, judo, kayak and canoe on still and wild waters, road and mountain cycling, swimming, shooting, and rowing.
The designer symbolically depicted on the stamps the combat sports and sailing; two disciplines, in which the Slovenian athletes won medals in the previous Olympic games. The stamps contain an inscription in Chinese: OLYMPIC (red stamp) SPIRIT (blue stamp); the vignettes include beside the Olympic circles and the OKS sign also the official symbol of the Olympic Games in Peking.

Rococo (the green stamp in the right corner)

Rococo was the last historical-art style to develop in 18th century Europe. In part, it signifies the continuation and conclusion of the Baroque period, although in many places Rococo appears simultaneously with Baroque. The word Rococo is seen as a combination of the French word rocaille, or a shell, and the expression “barocco”. Some critics used this term to imply that the style was frivolous or unserious. It is interested that the term was first used in English in about 1836; it was a colloquialism meaning “old-fashioned”. However, since the mid 19th century, the term has been accepted by art historians.
While it was still some debate about the historical significance of Rococo, it is now recognized as a major period in the development of European art.
Rococo developed at first in a decorative art. Lighter elements and graceful nature motifs with many shell forms and natural patterns are characteristic of Rococo. It expressed itself at most in the interior equipment of residences and apartments with bathrooms and small salons that have a lot of furniture with intarsia, decorated with stuccowork, tapestry, porcelain vessels, with small sculptures and mirrors with ornaments. Painting and sculpture became lighter content without a subordination of religious motifs, which is why Rococo was more popular than Baroque in some parts of Europe.
The stamp's motif is from the Gruber Palace, which is of the Late Baroque style. It was began in 1773, by the Jesuit and architect Gabriel Gruber; the palace was subsequently named after him. Sinewy pendants, wreaths on the windows and a portal, show signs of Rococo. The Palace currently houses the National Archive of Slovenia.

Thanks the Slovenian post page for nice descriptions!

суббота, 11 апреля 2009 г.

Europa cover from Czech Republic

On the 10-th of April after 10 days of travelling I recieved this looking forward cover with Czech Europa stamp of previous year. It wll occupy its place in my collection and enlarge it! Thank you, Milan!

The Association of European Public Postal Operators PostEurop declared "Writing Letters" as this year's common theme for the postage stamp issue EUROPA in order to promote written correspondence. In the past writing letters significantly cultivated the language and contributed to a better and more precise formulation of ideas. In today's world of mobile phones and e-mails hardly anyone will find the time for a handwritten letter. Despite the present massive spread of computers, a handwritten news still remains an expression of a special attention. Correspondence of leading authors is published as an organic part of their work, e.g. the correspondence of B. Němcová. These days waiting for a letter from a friend is rather a curiosity. We get an occasional card with Christmas or Easter greetings or from a holiday trip. The spoken word dies out, but a letter remains.

FDC from Austria

On the 9-th of April I got this nice FDC from Austria. It'd devoted to the saving of Polar regions. Some countries have issued the same years in order to attract attention to this important problem. This region suffers a lot because of global warming, so it needs stronger efforts to change the situation. Hope it will. Viellen Danke, Florian!

Preserving the glaciers and polar regions
The new commemorative raises one of the most serious problems of our age, the preservation of the glaciers and Polar regions. Alongside the vital efforts aimed at saving the rain forests from further logging activities, the research of the glaciologists is no doubt one of the most important in the global race against time to secure the ecologically balanced survival of our planet.

Cover from Canada

On the 4-th of April after 11 days of travelling I got this letter with nice stamps on it via postcrossing tag. You can see the stamps which celebrate forthcoming Winter Olympiad in Vancouver. I do collect all the Olympiad stamps, so I'm glad to get this one!

This stamp was issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first controlled powered flight in Canada and the British Empire. The stamp features an image of the aircraft that made that historic first flight: the Silver Dart. Use them to mail a letter that weighs up to 30 grams to any address in Canada. Queen design.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has introduced a vibrant set of emblems and mascots. As an Official Supplier to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Canada Post will issue five definitive stamps showcasing these dynamic symbols.

суббота, 4 апреля 2009 г.

cover from Spain

On the 4-th of April after 12 days of travelling I got this letter with 2 nice stamps. I've found nice description on the Spanish phylatelistic page. Here it is:

This newspaper, the second oldest in the press of Asturias (a northern region of Spain), was first published on the 26th January 1908. The newspaper was founded by a group of followers of MP José Manuel Pedregal. In order to bring about this project and build up the newspaper, the work of the following two people was decisive: Isidro Pruneda, son of the first printer and publisher in Avilés who contributed with his experience in the publishing business and also Manuel González Wes, Bachelor of Theology and Law and a renowned local journalist who purchased the newspaper a decade after its foundation. Between 1923 and 1927 , La Voz de Avilés suffered the censorship during primo de Rivera’s dictatorship but this did no prevent the paper from being printed. Not even the tragic death during the Civil War of González Wes and the confiscation of the paper throughout the war and post war period, stopped the newspaper from reaching the public. His son, Juan Wes, with the help of his wife, Jesusa López Marqués, was able to struggle through the obstacles of ink and paper shortage and deficient equipment, and managed to relaunch the paper. In 1963, the early death of Wes, pushed his widow to take over the newspaper, a task she achieved with great courage leading La Voz de Avilés through a process of modernisation. Years after, the paper passed on to her son and daughter Juan Manuel and Maria Jesús Wes until 1966 when it merged with El Correo and became part of the Correo Group, nowadays Vocento. Its integration in this media group has favoured not only the modernisation of all its structures but also its consolidation in the media market.

The stamp depicts the masthead and the logo of its hundredth anniversary and the characteristic arches of the La Ferrería and Galiana streets.

The Palacio de Longoria was built in 1903 by architect José Grases Riera following the art nouveau style in one of the few modernist style buildings in Madrid. The vegetation decoration covers all its façade built around two rectangular bodies joined at the corners by a circular tower with no dome.

New Russian stamps. 200 years of birth of N.V. Gogol

On the 1-st of April - in exactly date of the N.V. Gogol's birth our post issued 2 new stamps, devoted to this outstanding event. 

Nikolay Vasilevich Gogol (1809-1852) is the great Russian prose writer, playwright, critic who opened new epoch in Russian literature in due time. He opened new literary epoch in Russia. Everything in creativity of writer distinguished him from predecessors: singularity of the maintenance, brightness of types, lambent humour and, of course, his amazing language – laconic and well-aimed. "Auditor", «Dead souls», "Viy", «Evenings on a farm near Dikanka» and Gogol's other products are deeply poetical and original. «Lie in art, lie in science and lie in life, - wrote Nikolay Vasilevich in declining years, - were always both my enemies, and my torturers: everywhere I pursued them, and everywhere they pursued me». Souvenir sheet represents N.V.Gogol's portrait of F.A.Moller's brush (1840th) and a still-life, symbolizing creative nature of writer.

N.V. Gogol is my favourite Russian classic writer. I really like his very own style of writing when he combinates russian words with ukrainians, also his great sense of humor and just amazing nature descriptions! This writer is well known in the Ukraine because he was born there, lived there for a long time and wrote about this country. I hope that this celebration will comtinue to be one from many cultural bridges between our countries for a long time!