Monday, March 30, 2009

2009 Native American Dollar - Won in a competition

Here is my prize. It is an uncirculated 2009 Native American Dollar (US Mint image included below). It looks amazingly beautiful.

Underneath are the scans of both sides of the coin as scanned by me. Thanks again to the site organizers. What do you say about this beautiful coin?



In fact I am still waiting for 25 more such coins as I was also one of their 5 GRAND PRIZE WINNERS. You can also keep your fingers crossed as I will be able to swap some of those duplicate coins with you people as and when I receive them.  Leave a comment here if you want one (subject to the fact that I receive them).
Best Regards

Cover from USA

Dear Friends!
Hello!
Today I found a US$1 coin sent by coinnetwork.com in my mail box. It was a prize won by me for being one of the first 50 members to join a contest on the site. Here is a wonderful cover sent by one of the moderators Michael Zielinski from USA.

The stamp used on the cover is one of the two landscape USA stamps. It features a scenic American landscape with a photograph of Trunk Bay on the northern coast of St. John, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. St. John is known for its beautiful beaches, abundant plant life and the coral reefs along its coast. The island is also rich in history, and visitors to St. John can see pre-Columbian relics and the remains of Danish colonial sugar plantations. The photograph was taken by George H.H. Huey of Prescott, AZ. The set of both stamps can be seen as under:-



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Some Cool Places To Visit During A Journey To Gilgit

A beautiful Buddha statue carved on the face of a rock at Karga Nullah near Gilgit. 



Its a unique place on the face of the Earth. At this point, three of the mightiest mountain ranges of the World meet, making a knot. These mountain ranges are Karakoram, Himalayas and the Hindukush ranges.

The place is well-defined with a plaque mentioning the place as:-

THE JUNCTION POINT OF THREE GREATEST MOUNTAIN RANGES OF THE WORLD

It narrates, " FROM HERE YOU ARE SEEKING THREE MIGHTIEST MOUNTAIN RANGES OF THE WORLD. GREAT HIMALAYAS END IN THE SOUTH AND EAST OF INDUS RIVER. KARAKORUMS ARE ENDING IN THE NORTHEAST OF GILGIT RIVER. KARAKORUMS ARE ENDING IN THE NORTH EAST OF GILGIT RIVER. WEST OF GILGIT / INDUS RIVER IS THE HINDU KUSH RANGE".




The photo below shows the Rupal Face of the Nineth highest mountain peak of the World - Nanga Parbat. Nanga Parbat is commonly known as "The Killer Mountain". The height of Nanga Parbat is 8126 meters or 26660 feet and is the 9th highest peak of the World and the 2nd highest peak of Pakistan after K-2.

Nanga Parbat was one of the deadliest of the Eight-Thousanders for climbers in the first half of the 20th century; since that time it has been less so, though still an extremely dangerous and serious climb. It is also an immense, dramatic peak that rises far above its surrounding terrain.


A nice view of a medium-sized town Besham on the way back to Rawalpindi.


Some snowy pictures of Kaghan Valley

Just a few more pictures of the Kaghan Valley during my cool heli ride. Enjoy!!! Aren't they cool???



A Helicopter Joy ride to Naran Valley

A broken river between Gilgit and Danyore- A town across Indus river near Gilgit. The bridge on KKH is broken for the last 7-8 months. I don't know for how long it will remain as such. It is a huge inconvenience to the travelers as they have to cross the river from another bridge after traveling a long distance cross country.


An aerial view of Karakoram Highway. A treat to watch from above.


Deep-Green River Indus and a cool suspension bridge - What else can you wish to give a treat to your eyes??? 


A great view of the snow-coated Babusar Pass - A mountainous pass connecting Kaghan or Naran Valley to Indus Valley. The height of Babusar pass is 13,691 feet above mean sea level.


A snow-quilted view of Kaghan Valley near Lulusar Lake. The lake can not be seen at this time of the year as it is completely frozen.



Some more interesting pictures

Another old but nice-looking suspension bridge on River Indus.


Here are some pictures of "Sulphur Springs" - a beautiful diversity of nature. These springs are located at about two hours drive from Gilgit to Rawalpindi. Due to the presence of Sulphur underground, the water of the springs is hotter than the boiling water. Absolutely hard to touch even!!!




Another wonderful view of KKH. Isn't this road leading to heaven? Beautiful snow-covered mountains in the background can give you a feeling of the altitude at which this highway is built.






Some amazing pictures on the way to Gilgit

Have you ever seen a river so green. It is the mighty "River Indus" with water coming straight from the melting glaciers and mountain peaks. It is really a beautiful view. Also check the Karakoram Highway running along the river.

A nice suspension bridge on river Indus.


A beautiful road with a magnificent Indus River.


A bus crossing the land slide. Check a huge bus crossing over the muddy landslide to keep itself on route to its destination. A steep cliff on one side and a sheer fall on the other, but fortune favors the brave only.


What a long line of traveling vehicles struck in the middle of nowhere because of the anger of nature - A landslide.


This is the view of the blocked road due to a land slide. You can see the difficulties faced by the drivers traveling on the road and above all by the engineers trying to keep it open 365 days a year.

A Brief Account Of My Recent Journey To Gilgit

My dear friends!
Hello!
I hope and pray that you all are fine and happy.
I happened to visit Gilgit which is the Capital of "Northern Areas" of Pakistan due to some professional commitment. The highlight of the trip included the journey from Rawalpindi to Gilgit and back on the world-famous "Karakoram Highway (KKH)", a beautiful view of Nanga Parbat - 9th highest peak in the World, a trip to Kargah Nullah, a Helicopter ride to snow-covered Naran Valley, a on-the-route stop at "Sulphur Springs" and a memorable hospitality by my hosts in Gilgit.

Karakoram Highway or Friendship Highway was built during 1966-1986 and is the highest paved international roar in the World. It connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram Highway at an unbelievable altitude of 4,693 meters or 15,397 feet above mean sea level. Most of the countries in the world DO NOT even have a peak at that altitude. According to Wikipedia "Due to its high elevation and the difficult conditions in which it was constructed, it is also referred to as the 'Ninth Wonder of the World'".

Total Length of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) is 1300 kms (806 kms in Pakistan and 494 kms in China). The road mainly travels along the side of Indus River.

Its construction took the toll of 810 Pakistani and 82 Chinese workers mainly due to land slides, falls and extremely harsh weather conditions during its construction.

I would love to share some nice pictures with all of you here. The first one is a town-view of a medium-sized town Dassu on the KKH with a beautiful bridge on the Indus River. 


The second picture is a view of the KKH. You can see the harsh and difficult terrain on which it is built.

Back On The Scene

Hi Pals!
I hope and pray that all of you are fine, happy and in high spirits.
I have been roaming around for a while now in connection with my professional commitments. 

Hopefully I am back on the scene of stamp collecting for a while now. I started a few swaps before my departure which are still under process. I would like to finish them as soon as possible. I have already sent many packets to friends but some are still in my court. I handed over some packets to a friend before my departure for posting as registered packets but he is also out of contact being at a place with no telephonic contact. I will make my last try to contact him and if I fail to do so then I will prepare new packets with stamps, cards (or whatever was promised) for all of you and will confirm their posting by tomorrow evening. I will publish a list of stamp collector friends tomorrow night whom I will send packets in the day. I am planning to complete all stamp, post cards, covers, etc swaps by tomorrow. At least those swaps against which I have already received stamps, post cards, covers, etc. I will confirm sending packets to Nicole Schmitt, Bellini Ezio, Johnny, Josephine Smith, Tomislav Dolar, Kristiina, Contesse Eric, Michael Chapeau, Carolina Chia, Milos Leng, Glenn Moores, and a couple of other friends from postcrossing.com. 

I have tried to jot down all the swap friends from whom I have already received collectibles except a couple of them whom I promised to send first. 

I am extremely sorry for the delay in completion of these swaps and I promise to send a couple of extra items to all friends whom I will be sending packets. I hope that you will like these collectible items.

You can send me a note on faisalcheema44@gmail.com
Best Regards
Yours Cheema
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