четверг, 26 ноября 2009 г.

Cover from Canada

On the 23-rd of November after 11 days of travelling I got this letter from Canada. It shows the sports of upcoming Olympiad 2010 in Vancouver. Olympiad is one of my favourite topic, so I'm very glad to get these stamps from the hosting country! Thank you, Patrick!

Canada's Stamp Details (Vol. XVIII No 1; January to March 2009) 

Though the torch has not yet been lit, the Olympic Spirit is already spreading across Canada as fans, athletes and officials from around the world await the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. To mark Canada’s role as Host Country of the world’s most celebrated sporting event, Canada Post will issue five PERMANENT™ domestic rate stamps showcasing 2010 Winter Games sports. This vibrant stamp set features curling, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, bobsleigh and ice sledge hockey.

The 2010 Winter Games provide Canadians with an opportunity to continue a tradition that began with the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924 in Chamonix, France. What began as a 16-event competition with 16 countries participating has grown to 86 medal events and more than 80 countries (in the case of the Olympic Winter Games), and 64 medal events and more than 40 countries (in the case of the Paralympic Winter Games).

The stamps issued to mark this upcoming event feature athletes in action, with a strong emphasis on movement. “We were inspired by Olympic imagery of the 1940s and 1950s, particularly the highly romanticized silk-screened posters of the era,” explains John Belisle, Creative Director of Signals Design Group in Vancouver. “We started with basic sketches of athletes in action and, to give the design a contemporary spin, we layered the images.” These layers of transparencies capture the movement of the athletes. Belisle adds, “We’ve carried this sense of motion onto the souvenir sheet, where we’ve created movement by winding the pattern of the Vancouver 2010 colour scheme.” Blues and whites worked into the stamp designs convey the feeling of snow and ice.

According to Liz Wong, Manager of Stamp Design and Production at Canada Post, this stamp issue really speaks to the dynamism of the upcoming Games. “Its energy reflects Canada’s excitement to be hosting this world-class event,” she explains. “As these stamps make their way from coast to coast, they’ll help spread the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit and build anticipation for the arrival of the world’s athletes, officials and sports enthusiasts.”

Here’s a glimpse at the sports highlighted in this issue:

Ice sledge hockey—Ice sledge hockey was invented at a rehabilitation centre in Stockholm, Sweden, in the 1960s. The sport made its Paralympic debut at the Lillehammer 1994 Paralympic Winter Games.

Snowboard—Inspired by skiing, surfing and skateboarding, snowboard is an exciting addition to the Olympic winter sports family. The sport made its Olympic debut at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

Freestyle skiing—Freestyle skiing involves aerial manoeuvres performed while skiing downhill. Moguls were added to the official program of the Albertville Olympic Winter Games in 1992, and aerials made their first appearance at the Olympic Winter Games in 1994 in Lillehammer.

Bobsleigh—Though sleds have been used for centuries as a mode of transportation, bobsledding was not born until the late 19th century, when the Swiss attached a steering mechanism to a toboggan. In 1924, a four-man bobsleigh race took place at the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France.

Cover from Poland

On the 11-th of November after 7 days of travelling I got this awesome cover from Poland. It continues the series of the EU capitals. I do like the stamps devoted to the cities, so these stamps will find their own place in my collection. Thank you very much, Andrzej!

Here is some information about the stamps:

Brussels - Grand Place

Brussels is more than the capital city of Belgium. It is the capital city of the entire European Union and also the home of numerous important international institutions, including the headquarters of NATO. Founded in the 9th century, during the Middle Ages Brussels grew to become the most significant city in the Duchy of Brabant, a centre of trade and craftsmanship. Its present inhabitants fall into two linguistic groups - the Flemish and the French group. Other than in the rest of the country, which is divided into Flanders and Wallonia, in Brussels both languages are used democratically. 
The Grand Place compound is the centre of the city from the point of view of history, geography and trade. It contains a city hall erected in gothic style (Hôtel de Ville), the Royal House (16th century palace presently housing the City Museum) and historical tenements dating back to the 17th and the 18th century. It is widely considered that the only competitor for Grand Place as the most beautiful place of its kind in Europe is St. Mark’s Square in Venice. 

Helsinki - the National Museum 

The city of Helsinki was established in 1550 as a centre of trade. At that time it was a Swedish city, located at the mouth of the river Vantaa. In 1640 it was moved to its present location at the Gulf of Finland. The city suffered on numerous occasions due to Russian raids and natural disasters. Following a fire in 1808 it was rebuilt to resemble Petersburg, and it became the capital city of Finland in 1917. The city, with its picturesque location, is famous for a unique harmony between architecture and landscape. Among its countless monuments, most of which date back to the 19th century, are the St. Nicolas’s Cathedral, the city hall and the presidential palace. The National Museum edifice featured on the postage stamp was constructed in 1910 and is crowned with a slender tower, making it resemble a cathedral. 

Nicosia - the Famagusta Gate 

Although formally an EU Member State, Cyprus is part of Asian territory. Its capital city, Nicosia (Gr. Lefkosia), was in 1974 divided into a Turkish zone occupying the northern part and a Greek zone in the south of the city. The division reflects a centuries old conflict between the local inhabitants. The ancient name of the city was Ledra, and later on Leukosia. It had been the bishop’s residence since the 4th century, and in the 12th century it became the capital city of the island which then changed in 1489 when it was conquered by the Venicians. Since 1570 it had been ruled by the Ottoman Turks and in 1878 Nicosia became the capital city of Cyprus, a British colony. Finally, in 1960 it was renamed the capital of the Republic of Cyprus. The traces of Nicosia passing from under one rule to another are visible in the city’s monuments. 
The Famagusta Gate, dating back to the second half of the 16th century, is one of the three gates constituting a system of Venician fortifications surrounding the city (the wall is 4.5 kilometres long). It was designed by Giulio Savorgano to resemble a similar Venician gate located in Iraklion on the island of Crete. Presently the interiors of the gate serve as a venue for concerts and exhibitions.

воскресенье, 8 ноября 2009 г.

Cover from Czech Republic

On the 31-st of October I got this cover from Czech Republic. Unfortunately i didn't find the English version on the Czech post site, so I cann't add any information about the stamps. Hope it will appear soon or I just will find it.

Thank you very much, Milan! 

Euro cover from Spain

On the 29-th of October after 9 days of travelling I got this letter with mint Europa 2008 stamp inside. Spain had defenitely amazing europa stamp last year!

Thank you very much, Jose!

Euro covers from Italy

On the 26-th of October and 6-th of November after 13 days travelling I got these letters. There are 2 Europa 2009 Italian stamps. On the 0.65 € stamp you can see the AGILE astronomy satellite in orbit, with a detail of Planet Earth on the right. And on the 0.60 € stamp - the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) telescope, situated on La Palma, in the Canary Islands archipelago, with a detail of the universe as observed through the telescope in the background.

I'm so glad that my Euro cept collection is growing!

Thank you very much, Lorenzo!

Cover from Slovakia

On the 20-th of October after 8 days of travelling I got this cover from Slovakia and these beautyful mint stampsinside. As you can see the stamps represent Olympiad and Parolympiad in Beijing 2008 - one of my favourite topic. And, of course, I cann't avoid the Europa 2008 Slovak stamp - writing letters. On the cover you can see present Slovakian president - Ivan Gasparovic. Thank you so much, Milos!