September 10, 2012

0318 MONACO - A stopover on the French Riviera

"With God's Help", as its national anthem says, but also due to the abilities of the House of Grimaldi, who rule it, with brief interruptions, since 1297, the Principality of Monaco managed not only to survive the vicissitudes of history, but also to remain independent. The skill of the Princes of Monaco is proven by the welfare prevailing now in the country, the second smallest (after the Vatican), but the most densely populated in the world. Monaco boasts also the world's highest gross domestic product at purchasing power parity per capita at $186,175 (approximately 20 times higher than that of Romania, for example), and the world's highest life expectancy at nearly 90 years. According to all these statistics, Monaco seems to be not only a tax haven, but a paradise in every sense of the word.

Besides the port, in tre postcard can be seen the Prince's Palace of Monaco, the official residence of the Prince of Monaco, built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress. It is one of the most unusual palaces in Europe, because on the one hand had to be fortified, and on the other the lack of alternative palaces and land shortages have resulted in their use as the residence of the ruler for more than 700 years, celebrated in 1997. As a result, the palace is a blend of architectural styles, always being added wings and blocks, built in the style of the time.

Monte Carlo (Mount Charles), Monaco's most populated quartier, in which is located the famous casino, hosts the rally that bears his name since 1911. Also, since 1955 principality hosts Monaco Grand Prix, widely considered to be one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world.

About the stamp

The stamp, showing the Russian Blue, was issued on January 10, 2012, with the occasion of the 5th International Cat Show, which helds at the Auditorium Rainier III on 11th and 12th February 2012. It is organised by the Monte-Carlo Cat Federation, in accordance with the World Cat Federation's criteria. The stamp was designed by Josepha Develon.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps #87, run by Viridian from Viridian’s Postcard Blog. The theme of this week is Cats, dogs, and other pets. Click on the button to visit Viridian’s blog and all the other participants.

Monaco - Wikipedia
Prince's Palace of Monaco - Wikipedia
2012 International Cat Show stamp - OETP Monaco

sender: Ana
sent from Monaco, on 20.08.2012


  1. I would like to have the same fans like you have. It is really funny. Probably she is a big traveller.

    1. I don't know if she travels as a tourist or on business. I think that the second version is most likely, especially since in some cities she passed twice in 6 months. Anyway, the consistency with which she sends me postcards amazed me terrible. :)

    2. Part I:
      Because I read what you wrote, I decided to write the following lines from the desire to dispel "the fear" that you seem to have it somehow, at some level, about me, Ana, "a Romanian girl / woman named Ana, who I don't know who is". Even more, I want to be fair and respect your self-declared wish (better late...): "If you want to send me a postcard, I would prefer to contact me first."

      So, you simply don't have to be "scared" because my approach is as simply as that: although sometimes is a real challenge to find postcards but especially to find stamps, and after that some time to write them and after that to find a mailbox....I like to do things that bring joy and make someone to appreciate the gesture, as simple as it is.

      There were some moments in time (some years - ago -, in the teenage years) when I wished so much to receive something in my mailbox, something to be brought by the postman: a letter, a postcard... Why? Because I had some very good friends with whom I corresponded in those times and I was expecting these signs of life from them, every day. And of course, I didn't receive these signs of life as I wanted, every day. So, a good neighbor friend, aware of this desire of mine, started to put in my mailbox "letters" - in the form of notes or written piece of paper - "for someone who expects a letter every day" (as in the song "From Sarah, With Love"...).

      Now, about postcards, I must say that this was one of my passions from my childhood: to collect, to have, to receive postcards (but also stamps from postcards and not only). I have some old postcards which are very dear to me and if you ask me now, I don't know from whom they are, who those persons were who written them and so on... In time, this passion was more subdued in the waves of life.... Only from June 2003 I started traveling abroad (and I regret that I didn't have the chance to begin earlier). There were times and travels when I bought postcards, another ones in which I didn't (and I regret this also). From time to time I received some postcards from dear friends, from some amazing places.

      At some moments in time I started to collect fridge magnets and this is my dearest collection. But, at another point of time, I started again to want to receive postcards and my passion for collecting postcards revived this time even more.

      And, in the meantime, I just found out about your passion of collecting postcards. So, I said to myself: I know this feeling, I know it very well! So....why not? Let's make people happy (or at least....let's try...because...the world it is....).
      So, my first personalized postcard sent to you was only from Leicester because then, in April, I took this decision. Indeed, that one was from a business trip. Also, the next one, from Windsor. I was also in March, in Athens, again but at that moment I didn't thought to send you a postcard...although I knew of your postcards collection.
      (To be continued)

    3. Part II:
      As you correctly deduced, I'm working in Romania, in Bucharest, and maybe this is a reason why I'm not travelling as much as I want for business reasons.
      So, all the other trips that I made this year were as tourist, for pleasure, because, in fact, this is my true, real passion of mine: to travel. I don not travel as much as I want (again) but...I am grateful for what I have seen so far and for each time I had this chance and, of course, I hope to more beautiful journeys...

      Indeed, I was twice this year in some places but this is because those were some special places and this is how it happened to be.

      Regarding the last "set of postcards", from my European cultural circuit, I must apologize because most of the times, I've written the postcards on the run, at some very late hours, being very tired and not once, after several glasses of wine or beer or champagne (I went to Reims after all..) or prosecco or limoncello. And all this led to an indecipherable handwriting and thoughts written in a chaotic and sometimes, I admit, quite incoherent way, considering also the strong emotional background and feelings which I had “to cope”, to face in those days.

      I knew though that if I do not write them then, even though I was so tired, I will not be able to write and send them at all. Even so, there were many postcards that I couldn't send them from those specific locations, as you already can see.

      So, now that part of mystery is gone, I would say that the best idea would be to simply enjoy the postcards you receive. Myself, at least, I would do so for sure. :-)
      Who I am is not so important... But in no way I really do not represent any "threat" or any reason for fear or scare, at all. If you feel better, I am 36 years old (in December I will have 37 years old) and...about the rest...I do not consider that it is important to be said.

      I want to thank you for creating that special new and dedicated section "Received from Ana". I must say that I am impressed because this section honors me. Unfortunately, I do not travel as much as I would like or as much as others do.

      P.S. I like going to many concerts here, in Romania, but also I had the chance to go abroad at some very special concerts. The next one will be here, in Bucharest, and for the second time in my life I will be at the Anathema concert (first time was in 2008, at Anathema Unplugged...great moments!)

      My best wishes!


    4. Thank you very much for your comment, Ana. I'm not ashamed to say that is a lesson for me, as well the gesture to send me postcards from your travels. Why I tried a slight feeling of "fear" (on which however I removed)? Because I'm not accustomed that people (especially those who I don't know personally) to behave so nice to me. So many postcards mean time, means attention and, not least, money. In addition, I believe in the law of compensation, so that when something good happens to me from one side, I expect to be followed by a nasty one from other side.

      Regarding my blog and my passion, they have a simple reason: I haven't traveled to much (because thus was to be), and I got to know that I will not be able to travel the rest of my life not even as you traveled this year. I think that the blog's title clearly says so. For me, as for you, the postcards aren't just photos, but shadows of the places from where they are coming, having behind history, beauty and not rarely emotion, which I like to discover, even remotely. Through text, stamps and postmarks, every postcard acquires its own personality and it's unique, that is why their collecting seems to me more personal than collecting banknotes, for instance. Of course, this is just my opinion and I don't necessarily claim that would be correct. Thanks again for the postcards (which will be all posted, but in time, because on my desk waiting about 300 among their sisters, which continue to arrive to me at a much faster pace than I manage to "process" them). And sorry for my poor english. In Romanian I can be much more nuanced.

    5. You're more than welcome! It really was my pleasure and joy! And I do understand your concern. I know that it is strange somehow, but let's say that I had the chance to receive such "things" that meant so much to me and I really know to appreciate these kind of gestures.

      Regarding the law of compensation, I know what you mean but I believe that it is better to think only at the good things and to see just "the full half of the glass", as they say. Do not be afraid of the good things that happen to you; think different, i.e.: you probably experienced already many things and maybe they were less good so.....maybe now it's time when good things can happen to you even from strangers. Sometimes, in life, the people we know bring us less pleasant things... Even I am a stranger to you, enjoy everything and be glad... I hope that nothing wrong happend or will happen meanwhile because of me... :-) So, simply....enjoy my sincere gestures.... As I said, I had the chance to receive these kind of gestures and I appreciated so much so, now, it's my turn, it's time to give more of what I've got and I was taught to give to the others....

      I promiss that as far as I'm concerned, you will receive a postcard from me everytime I will have the chance to travel abroad. And yes, I will bring the world, "my world" as I see it with my own eyes and all my senses, to you, to your home! Because your motto "A day without a postcard is a wasted day" resonates also in my mind....The difference is that I really don't want to think at all to my days as being "wasted days"... The days, our days, are what we want to do with them and what we make them to be....

      Thank you for sharing with me your thoughts and the reasons why you are collecting postcards! You are right, you are perfectly right regarding the way you see every single postcard and the reasons behind this passion of collecting such emotional imprint in time and space.... I share the same opinion and feeling with you! And, you know, your English is not at all as poor as you say.... Feel freel to express yourself in Romanian if you feel more confortable... I did the same thing when I wrote those postcards to you because I hoped that maybe in Romanian I will be more coherent... (sometimes unsuccessfully)...

      But I can not help wondering why you've already set that "mind frame" thinking about the future and the opportunities that you may have or not (as you say) to see the world, some of these beautiful places... You know, that special words "never say never", as trivial as they seem to be, are some powerful words that hide a multitude of possibilities about your future... Sometimes really depends on what you really want...

      Congratulations for your blog!! I admire what you do, your work and documentation efforts! Also, I admire your collection! Indeed, through these postcards, the world is coming to your home and you can feel it in a different and special way! [I was afraid that my postcards will be somehow too personal as they describ emotions and feelings through my living experience, thinking that, indeed, I am a total stranger to you.]

      I wish you not even a day without a postcard received in order to avoid the feeling that would be a day lost....or a wasted day!! :-)

      Meanwhile, I understand that in Ploiesti, this autumn chestnut flourished second time this year.... A real Indian summer...

      Enjoy every day, with or without a postcard received.... Life, so hard and unfair as it seems to be for us sometimes, is worth leaving every single moment of it....with good or bad!


  2. best comments I ve ever read! seems like Amelie the movie!