I visited the post office in Strasbourg, France (called, simply, “La Poste”) to peruse their wares and pick up postage for all of the post cards I needed to send. La Poste is actually a bank and a post office. Here’s an outside shot:
The yellow post boxes could be found everywhere, and quite easily, given their color:
I ran into letter carriers and their vehicles in both Strasbourg and Paris. Here are some shots (again, with the vehicles in La Poste Yellow):
While at La Poste, I found some wonderful stamps for my post cards and collection. See a selection below.
These heart-shaped ones were darling, but also a bit difficult to tear out!
The ones below were good for international mail and featured a beautiful red and blue abstract painting (sorry for the yellow color of the photos! I swear I’m going to learn how to take better pictures!)
Here are some for the Chinese Year of the Rabbit:
I thought the bunny was so sweet in the brush stroke painting:
Here’s a stamp that was a “celebration of the stamp” (fete du timbre) and it *smells* like strawberries!
Here’s the back of the stamp…I wonder if it *tastes* like strawberries:
The other stamps I bought were general, small, non-descript Marianne stamps. I had two versions–one good for international postage and one which could be used to make up the difference between the cool ones I was buying and the international postage rate. See here:
Marianne–the woman on the stamp–is a female image representing Republican France and its ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity. I’m not sure why Marianne has on a weird Smurf hat. I’m sure it is some sacred symbol I’ve now disparaged. Allison, Natasha and anyone else I know who is a France expert, please let me know!
Marianne’s image changes on the stamps over the years (such is the way with idealized feminine imagery). I have this one in my collection where I think she looks like Gloria Steinem.
If you’re interested in seeing the Marianne stamps over the years, check out this link.
My favorite stamp find, however, was a series of 12 stamps focused on women. They deserve their own post which will soon follow. As a sneak preview, I think only the French would create stamps with clevage shots on them!
P.S. The post office I visited in Strasbourg sits on the cathedral square. The utilitarian Poste building faces Strasbourg’s Notre Dame cathedral, which was built between 1176 and 1439 and stood as the tallest in the world for more than two centuries (from 1647 to 1874–it had to wait a couple hundred years for a taller church to fall before it could take the title of tallest!)
Here’s a shot of the magnificent cathedral which took my breath away when I first laid eyes on it: