I was doing Austria last night and was reminded of that stamp fair years ago, when someone asked a man sitting next to me what he thought was the country with the most beautiful stamps. He answered Austria and I butted in saying: "Don't be silly, it's Britain!" At that time I still lived in Holland and was yearning and craving for anything British, so I must have been biased! For now that I live here in the UK and have seen a few more world stamps, I must admit that that man could well be right.

I know it's an impossible question to answer, for as soon as you come up with an answer, there's a doubt in your mind saying: yeah, but what about that set and those stamps ah and those oh and yes, I love that one too.


But it is true that I do feel immense pleasure everytime I browse through my Austria pages. It's like their stamps represent the splendour (and yes, decadence) of Old Europe. I've got a fair number of Austrian stamps and yet struggle to point out any really horrible ones. I've only got the one!

And it's not just the definitives that are beautiful, their commemoratives are splendid as well, and what about their Christmas stamps: that's how they all should be (in my humble opinion, of course)!

One of the most beautiful definitive sets is the Monasteries and Abbeys set from the 1980s. I'm showing you a few here but the scans do not show them off to their full advantage, I don't think. But enjoy them anyway! And maybe I should try and come up with a top 10 of the most beautiful stamp sets. Now there's a challenge!