Saturday, 6 November 2010

Åland Sailing

One of the places I would love to visit are the Aland Islands in the Baltic Sea so how great to receive this card of the Birka Line ship the M/S Prinsessen whose passenger route was from Mariehamn, Åland to Stockholm. This is one of the Åland Post Office cards of their stamps, a painting by Hàkan Sjòstròm which appeared on the €3.50 stamp.  This ship started life in 1957 as a DFDS Lines' Prinsesse Margrethe and bought by Birka as their first ship in 1971 for the short distance route between Sweden and  Åland and named Prinsessen. This was a ship that couldn't keep a name for it was renamed again in 1977 when Birka Lines wanted their new ship to bear the Prinsessen name so it became the Prinsen.  It carried 1,208 passengers and 35 cars but it working life came to an end in 1987 when it was scrapped, but it lives again in this fine painting.

The card came with, a very lightly franked stamp, celebrating the autumn in

Torronsuo National Park, Finland. I do like the map showing its location.  This is an area in a near natural state of a raised bog, an important habitat for birds and insects. I know a little about raised bogs because there are small ones near me in England, but nothing on the scale of this Finnish one of 985 square miles. Plants that like acidic conditions thrive in these places, heather, cotton grass and sphagnum mosses eventually die and add to the deep peat conditions. By coincidence I had seen a postcard on 9TEEN87's postcard blog of a very similar scene in Torronsuo here. He helpfully mentioned a word I had not heard of before in connection with this area of, ombrotrophic, which means an area where water arrives cloud-fed (mist and rain) rather than by rivers or streams.

My Snowfriend sender tells me that these are beautiful autumn days in Helsinki at the moment. Thank you for this lovely card.

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