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Blog > The Little Mail Carriers in the Åland Islands!

Last year, the Little Mail Carriers went on a splendid adventure... that we forgot to tell you about! 🙈  We firmly believe in "better late than never" (and we know how much you all miss them!), so here they are to tell the tale of their trip to a little known archipelago in the Baltic sea...

Hi everyone! We're in Åland,  a group of islands mid-way between Finland and Sweden. It's definitely a special place, with very few postcrossers — and no wonder, as the population only amounts to 29,000 residents. They're a Swedish-speaking autonomous region of Finland though, and even have their own postage stamps since 1984, mostly featuring local nature, culture, history, society and autonomy-related themes.

Aland postcards

We had already been in Sweden and Norway, but never in Finland, which is still the country with the highest number of postcrossers per capita in the world... so a visit was well overdue!

Finland is known for many things, from their sauna culture to the Moomins, but it's also the country where, in October of 2015, a group of enthusiast postcrossers gathered in the Postal Museum in Tampere to create the first national association of postcrossers: the Finnish Postcrossing Friends (reg). Among many other activities, they've taken up the task of organising meetups in their country, so that postcrossers can get together to write postcards and explore new places — including the Åland Islands.

So it was an early Thursday morning on June 9th last year, when a group of 22 Finnish postcrossers met in Turku harbour. The cruise from Turku to Mariehamn (the capital of Åland) takes about five hours.... perfect timing for a meetup, right? So the very first "Postcrossing at sea"–meetup was arranged in a cozy conference room of the M/S Amorella.

Meeting on the ship aland1

The hours flew quickly as we wrote tons of postcards and shared Postcrossing experiences while admiring the sunny sea landscape. The association also had a challenging Postcrossing-related quiz... with prizes for everyone! The cruise ship arrived to Mariehamn in the early afternoon. After settling in at the hotel, the rest of the day was spent shopping for postcards, exploring the island and enjoying the local delicacies. June 9th is Åland's Autonomy Day, which is why there were 🇦🇽  flags everywhere we looked!

Streets of Åland alandflags IMG 6628 (1) delicacies

The next day, we got a wonderful chance to visit Åland Post postal terminal in the island. The visit was hosted by Anita Häggblom, the director of Åland Post Stamps. While enjoying coffee and doughnuts, she told us about the interesting history of stamps of Åland, and how topics are chosen to be issued. She also revealed some wonderful details about 2017 stamps.

Flags everywhere! IMG 6694

We got the chance to ask Anita some questions, and she also introduced us to their facilities, so that we could see where all the postal magic happens and how it happens. It was truly interesting to see the machines for first day covers, maximum cards and special cancellations. We thanked Anita and Åland Post by leaving a couple of hundred signed meetup postcards there, so that they could get nicely cancelled and sent forward around to the world to other postcrossers. In the afternoon we took the cruise back to mainland on another boat, this time the M/S Viking Grace.

alandgroup

The visit was a huge success... so they're planning to do it again this year! So if you've always wanted to explore these special islands, mark your calendars: June 7th to 9th is when the Finnish Postcrossing Friends will arrange a new visit to Åland. This time, the trip will include an extra day to fit a bus trip to Eckerö Mail and Custom’s House, Kastelholm Castle and Stallhagen brewery.

Aaaaaaaand, as if that wasn't enough, Åland Post Stamps is planning to issue a special cancellation for the new meetup, together with a custom stamp. Stamp, cancellation and meetup card were designed by local artist Ammi Krogius.

alandmeetup2017 mockup

Pretty cool, right? So... who's looking forward to June? 😊

A big thank you to Marko (aka insp3ktor) and Hanna (aka hazzitus) from the Finnish Postcrossing Association for organising this meetup, and to also to Martta (aka MarttaD) and Minna (piparminttu) for sharing their lovely photos. Great work, everyone!

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66 comments so far

geminiscp, Portugal
Lucky guys!!! :)
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pucky, Netherlands
good trip for the little ones! And a very nice card and stamp, wow!
Have a good time!
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ctim, Sweden
I liked reading this story. Kiitos! =)
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D1ana, United States of America
Delightful story!
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ned44440, Ireland
Wonderful wonderful wonderful
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Lorelai, Germany
Wish I could be there in June...
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PedroSantos, Portugal
love this :)
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surfclub66, United States of America
So cool! The card and stamp are absolutely beautiful too!
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Kristina333, United States of America
What a cool idea! Thanks for writing up the story. Your little mail carriers are fabulous!
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Miselka81, Canada
Thanks for the lovely story and what a beautiful postcard!
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Jacque53, United States of America
Beautiful card and stamp! ❤️❤️❤️
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Sfander, Canada
Enjoyed the story very much and my very good wishes and thanks to the Finnish Postcrossing Association...You sure know how to do it up right!
A wonderful stamp and postcard too, not to forget to mention the awesome cancel...that's great! Bravo Aland Post!!!
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Mosshumla, Sweden
Oh, wish I could be there in June! It would be great to receive one of the beautiful meetup cards.
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ydnic, United States of America
Very neat! I pulled out my big map of Finland and there is Aland! Thank you! Wonderful story and postcard. My stepfather was Finnish and he would have loved this story.
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Flippie, Canada
Hi, Thank you for sharing this great story with us. Now I'm hoping to receive one of the beautiful meet-up cards. They look Fantastic!
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CYCyx, China
Wonderful~~~
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LadyDragonnette, Belgium
Great story... became homesick now.... Hopefully see you guys in June!
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atmaja, Indonesia
Very inspiring... thanks so much... ^-^
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shafathahmed, India
WoW:)
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Harries, Indonesia
When postcrosser visit South Kalimantan Indonesia for meeting up?
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fendihou, China
Such an awesome trip!!! It's indeed a pity that I didn't visit Åland when I was studying in Sweden... and now here, in Korea, there is an over-popular fashion store called " Åland".. every time go past it, it makes me miss the Nordic sooo much!!!
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mounten, Italy
Great story congratulations!!!! Would like to get such a creativ meet -up card. Ciao from Italy and many thanks!!!!!
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martha66, Netherlands
what a great story, glad the "better late than never" is still on.
Love the new meeting up card, wish I could have one of them, sp pretty.
Keep living in hope.
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Prinzmucki, Germany
Very good !!!
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Scarlet43232, United States of America
Wow! That would be an amazing trip! I hope that I am lucky enough to visit these Islands some day! So happy you guys had such a wonderful time! So far I am the only postcrosser in Columbus, Ohio USA. I can't find anyone close to meet up with as of yet. Perhaps I shall write to the local paper and see if I can stir things up! We do have the largest college in the country as well as a very large interactive science center as well as a very large zoo. With around 2.5 million people in a Tech city there is bound to be a few who still love the art of writing...
Love from Columbus, Shelly (Scarlet43232)
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Sanjic, Macedonia
Wow! Such a great story! You had an amazing trip :)
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jeroenvberlo, Netherlands
Great story. Thank you for sharing. Go Åland Island. Have fun with the meetup in June.
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blossom61, United States of America
Great story!! Thank you!
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marica_t, United States of America
What a fun article, and I love the designs of the postcards for the meetups! I'm hoping to get a Northeast Ohio meetup organized and it would definitely be fun to have a postcard celebrating that meetup. I'm sending a message to Scarlet43232 soon :)
Greetings from Munroe Falls, Ohio!
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Marianne-Lixi, France
It is wonderful to think and hope about this meeting. I love these countries.
Perhaps can I receive one of these wonderful meeting postcard. Best wishes for all postcrossers from Finland and this great island Aland.
Marianne Lixi in Ardèche in France !
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Kamna, Fiji
Love the story, I got my very first postcard from Aland and it was from one of the meetup organisers Marko...so awesome to read this story..

Best wishes from Suva, Fiji Islands
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peludet, Spain
Wow! Very good.
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Luziaceleste, Brazil
Fantastic!
This is pure love for postcrossing way of life!
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mysweetlife63, United States of America
Totally cool story little travelers! Hoping for one of those cards!
d
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PatteHen, United States of America
I received one of the postcards from the 2016 meetup from hazzitus (Hanna). Thanks for telling us about the meet ups - I hope to get a card from the 2017 one!
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beesknees, United States of America
Nice!
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Kereru, New Zealand
What a wonderful meeting of postcrossers. Can't wait for New Zealand to host the Little Mail Carriers sometime soon. ;)
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rosenbusch, Germany
"Better late than never"! That´s right. Thank you for the beautiful story. I like the postcards from the meetups....
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Badrit, Indonesia
So beautiful
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KitKatD, Germany
Wow! Just wonderful!
Would love to get this postcard!!
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PeaceFox, United Kingdom
Brilliant description of your visit to Aland. By chance, this week I sent my first Postcard to Aland (from the UK) and had to look up where the place was! Now I know a lot more about it, following your review. I'll be in Tampere in May 2017 for the International Stamp Exhibition and hope to see a Postcrossing presence at this prestigious event.

Thanks again and HAPPY POSTCROSSINGS.
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AngieD, Germany
I'm very impressed, visited just Mariehamn during a cruise 2 years ago - i would love to go there again and maybe someone will send me a postcard from that meeting!!!
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Lario, France
It's beautiful
I hope receive cards of meetups Thank☺
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sacdalton, United States of America
What a great trip! Thanks for sharing.
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MisterioJuvenil, Portugal
Great meeting
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chrissybaby, Ireland
Great story - really enjoyed it!
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Rapunzel7, United States of America
That sounds like so much fun! :) I would love a card from this wonderful Postcrossing adventure! If anyone going on this meeting would like to arrange a swap, please contact me :)
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courtneyelise, France
So neat! I would love to do something similar in Paris, France.
I looooove the cancel / maxi card. The illustration is adorable.
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KAKAWCOW, Finland
I'm interested in joining the meetup in June! Trying to convince my boyfriend to join me :) I live in Turku so it wouldn't be too difficult for me to join! My boyfriend lives in St. Petersburg but it's not a big deal for him to travel to Turku, he does it all the time ;) We will think about it, hopefully see you in June! ♥
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KAKAWCOW, Finland
We have been talking about traveling to Åland Islands and this would be a perfect chance!
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Tranchile, Guernsey
Love the story and I would love the card for my collection as so lovely and I look forward to future stories.
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bach3206, United States of America
How wonderful !! Wished I could be there and it would be exciting if I could receive a special postcard/stamp.
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cheller7, United States of America
This sounds fantastic! And June 7th is my birthday! How wonderful it would be to receive a postcard from the Aland Islands meetup!
I hope you all have a great time!
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RoteZora90, Germany
I spend my holidays this year in Finland and we decide to travel from Stockholm via Mariehamn to Turku. So we can stay two nights or so on Åland Islands :)
Sadly it's not in June so I can't meet you guys ...
But I hope I get one of this cards ;)
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devimarietta, Korea (South)
I love this story, so passionate. I really would like to receive a The Aland Islands postcard meetup. I have Busan, South Korea Postcrossing meetup instead. I hope you all guys always bless and happy.
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ConstantGardener, United States of America
SWEET!!!!
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moonlightlaura, United States of America
Love this story, and I would love to get one of those cards with one of those stamps on it!!! :D
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cheercora, Hong Kong
Danke schön!
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katrienvd, Belgium
I would like to receive the card!!!! I love it.
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HM, Netherlands
ÅÅÅÅÅland Islands! Enjoyed reading.
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Badrit, Indonesia
Great, hope I can have some
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soniannie, United States of America
Thanks for sharing this story. I love it and wish I had the money to travel. A land sounds like a lovely place. These postcards, stamp and cancellation are beautiful and I wish I could receive one. I have been sharing my post crossing experience with several people and groups, hoping to encourage more to join in. I have enjoyed it so much and know that others would too.
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betslets, United States of America
When I first joined Postcrossing, I had no idea I would learn so much about so many people and places. I would love for Postcrossing to offer some kind of Degree...perhaps PhD. of Deltiology? Seriously, indeed better late than never on this story. Thank you to everyone who contributed.
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Tranchile, Guernsey
Love the story and I would love the card for my collection and happy to send one of our matching Postcrossing Cards and Stamps back. Always a delight to read the blogs.
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SpartakGirl, Russia
Great special card is coming!! Wish I could find one in my mailbox^^
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Tataus, Portugal
Lovely postcard!!! Send me one please :-) Have a nice meeting.
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