Sunday, October 21, 2012

Centenary of the Rosselare/Fishguard Ferry Service, Ireland

So hello Sunday Stampers! Beautiful sunny day over here..chilly, but the sunshine just feels so nice! So before i head to catch some fresh air, here is my entry for today's theme, which is ships.
Well, the first thing that crossed my mind was of course Titanic...or some of those great US Forever (and not Forever) stamps depicting ships...but then I wondered...what are the odds of actually those being a more frequent 'see' today...hmm..Macedonia has also issued two ships stamps, but somehow i didnt get very thrilled at the thought of posting those...and then it dawned on me that recently i have received something that would fit in the theme perfectly...and is just extra beautiful! (well, to me at least :))
A fantastic cover from Ireland, where the entire mini sheet has been attached!

these stamps were issued on 20 June 2006, to celebrate the centenary of the Rosslare/Fishguard Ferry Service.
the story goes that towards the end of the 19th Century a ferry service linked New Milford, in the Milford Haven estuary, and Waterford.
The engineer, Marc Brunel, envisaged a port on the west coast of Wales which could handle the transatlantic liners trade and which by definition would require a rail connection to serve London. The Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbour Company, which was taken over jointly by the Great Western Railway and their Irish partners, the Great Southern and Western Railway of Ireland, undertook to build a railway from Waterford to Rosslare. Linking New Milford to the rail network presented major engineering difficulties so the alternative port of Fishguard was chosen. It was sheltered, had deep water and most importantly offered a shorter crossing to Ireland.
During the next few years no expense was spared in making Fishguard a major port for Irish traffic. Work began on the development of Fishguard in 1899 and was completed in 1906. The service to Ireland was launched in 1906, and the first westbound sailing of the Saint David carried 231 passengers. The service has operated since then without interruption, even during the First and Second World Wars, carrying both passengers and mail between Ireland and Britain.

Among the liners that called to Fishguard were the Mauritania and Lusitania. The ferry service established a very strong connection between the communities in Fishguard and Rosslare which is maintained today. It continues to serve as a key element of the infrastructure linking Ireland and Britain for the purposes of trade and tourism. Both ports are legally owned by Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbours Company in which Stena Line and Irish Rail are shareholders.

ehhhh....I wish i could sail away somewhere right now....

see where others have sailed to today :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Macedonia in EU, Macedonia

Hello my dear readers and, ok, maybe not the right use of the word, but to me it seemed as a nice sort of neologism...

the theme for this Sunday is public architecture, esp. i stuck to that, instead actually interpreting the theme broadly...and i was about to go with those Russian bridges' stamps...but then i thought I could actually contribute with something different with which i have much less of a chance to overlap and have a double post with someone else, since I dont think that many today would go with something Macedonian...and Ill leave the Russian ones for some other time :)

well, I have two FDCs for today which I think fit in well into the theme, even though their initial subject is something totally different.
Each year, the Macedonian postal service issues stamps dedicated to the European Union...I dont know why it is called Macedonian in EU, when we still arent an EU member state (frankly I dont even want to be part of EU, but it is not like anyone is asking me or the public, those things are already settled behind the scenes about when and how are they going to happen).
Anyways, as I said, these stamps are issued each year, when some capital of the EU is presented on those stamps. In 2009, as you can see above, it was Prague (Czech Republic) that was chosen, and here you can see among else the very famous Charles' bridge in Prague, over the Vltava river.
Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava until 1841, the Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city's Old Town and adjacent areas (you can also see those on the FDC).

Unfortunately I havent yet been to Prague, though Id really love to...and feel the bustling atmosphere of this place.

this second FDC was issued in 2011 and here you can see Budapest...well Budapest is famous for its numerous bridges over the Danube river but the Chain bridge is probably the most famous and widely known among the bridges of Budapest (and I must say that Ive actually been here and crossed this bridge! And Budapest is a beautiful place....though Id need to go there again coz that was like 10 years ago, so Im sure Id see Budapest with different eyes nowadays than back then).
The Chain bridge was the first permanent stone-bridge connecting Pest and Buda, and only the second permanent crossing on the whole length of the river Danube, opened in 1849. The portals are decorated with lionhead-shaped capstones and the coat of arms of Hungary with the crown and a wreath of leaves.
The bridge has the name of István Széchenyi attached to it actually, a major supporter of its construction, but is most commonly known as the Chain Bridge.
And on the stamp, you can also see the famous Hungarian Parliament building.

so, I hope you liked my pick for the see what others have chosen, click on the button below...and have a great day :)