Geography of Europe
There was only one continent on the face of the Earth “Pangea” about 200 million years ago. This one continent in the Southern Hemisphere eventually separated into 7 continents we know today. Europe is one of them and is one of the most beautiful continents. It is the second smallest continent having the third-highest population with more than 740 million people. Its population is about 11% of the world’s total population. There are 51 countries in Europe these days. Europe is a huge peninsula of the Eurasian supercontinent. Therefore, it is considered a peninsula of peninsulas. Europe has the most unique geography and weather patterns. That is the reason that there are varieties of astonishing landscapes, marvelous waterways, and a unique climate. The landforms also consist of miraculous islands, beautiful plains, and long ranges of mountains.
The Western Uplands shields the western side of Europe. The beautiful physical landscapes of Scandinavian countries, Brittany region of France, Spain, and Portugal, Finland, Ireland, Scotland, and Iceland is defined by the Western Uplands. These lands are rocky and abundant with marshlands, lakes, and fjords.
Extending from east-west to the parts of northern Switzerland and Austria in central Europe, the Central Uplands system is also huge. These Uplands are less rocky and have lower altitudes.
The North European Plains extend from the south of the United Kingdom to Eastern Russia. Many navigable rivers flow in these plains. The climate is good for seasonal crops. These plains are also the most densely populated region of Europe.
There are plains and vast areas of lowlands in North and East of the continent. There are different mountain ranges in the South. The Scandinavian Mountains, Balkan Mountains, Caucasus Mountains, Alps, Pennines, and Transylvanian Mountains are among the few of the most famous mountain systems in Europe. The Alps are hugely extensive and highest mountain ranges in Europe covering 1,200 kilometers across 8 countries. It cuts Italy off from the rest of Europe.
There are numerous rivers in Europe with varied characteristics that depend on the sea or ocean they flow into. Rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean are long with a regular course. Rivers like the Seine and the Thames that are short with heavy flow belong to the Atlantic Ocean. Rivers like Po and Rhone that are short with irregular flow fall into the Mediterranean Sea. Rivers like Volga and Danube that are long and with regular course flow into the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. The Volga River is the longest river in Europe with 3,692 kilometers length.
Culture and Cuisine of Europe
Europe is a region marked by cultural diversity with approximately 160 culturally distinct groups. Among those 160 groups, there are a lot of groups in the Caucasus region having ties with two continents, Europe and Asia. Immigrants from all across the globe to Europe have also their own cultural backgrounds. Therefore, Europe is in fact a very rich and diverse continent with respect to its culture.
The word “culture” brings different concepts in mind in every other corner of Europe. Greece brings into mind philosophies of Plato, the Acropolis of Athens, or the marvelous painting art of the palace of Knossos. Great Britain points us to the monumental British Museum, York Cathedral, rich chronicles, etc. Italy is also famous for arts and artists like Leonardo Davinci and Picasso. Europe is also home to monuments like Trajan Column, palaces like Alhambra, cultural places like the Louvre, and traditional celebrations such as Oktoberfest. In fact, European cultural heritage is too rich and diverse to summarise in a few lines. Starting from the Greeks and Romans from the earliest of times to modern Europe with modern arts, literature, music, and history. Each European country may be a separate chapter but Europe is one and its culture is truly rich, diverse, and remarkable.
European cuisine is also as diverse as European culture. Every country of Europe has at least one traditional dish and you will find its residents very fond of it. If you are dreaming about visiting Europe and fantasizing about eating experience in Europe, you will find a variety from stews and dumplings in the Balkan region to seafood in the Mediterranean region, to delicious savory cheese all across Europe. Steak and cutlets are particularly common along with grape wine. Sauces, varieties of cheese, and fermented milk products are frequently used in different dishes.
Well, everyone is probably aware of the dandy Italian food, yummy Pasta, and Pizza. Italians are famous for their dedication to cooking. Arancini, lasagne, ribollita, etc. are also specialties of Italian cooks. You should also taste strudel from Austria, waffles from Belgium, soup from Bulgaria, bread dumplings from the Czech Republic, Smørrebrød from Denmark, gyros from Greece, and many other special dishes of each and every country that you visit.
Interesting facts about Europe
- Europe got its name from Phoenician princess Europa who was kidnapped by Zeus
- Europe has the highest GDP among all the continents because of the strong economies of rich countries like Switzerland, Norway, Austria, etc.
- The European continent is home to the most number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites among all the continents
- Europeans buy and eat more than 50% of the total production of chocolate from all across the world
- Scientists believe that blonde hair was developed in Northern Europe during the last ice age about 11,000 years ago
- It is quite a puzzle to count the total number of countries in Europe because several countries like Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, etc. have lands areas in both continents, Asia and Europe
- Europe has more than 160 cultural groups with foreign immigrants make European culture and traditions very diverse
- The Perucica forest is the last remaining rain forest of Europe
- Europe produces wine more than half of the total wine produced in the world
- The second most active volcano in the world, located on Mount Etna in Italy, is also situated in Europe
- Germany is the most populous country in Europe with approximately 83 million
- At Mount Blanc, you will behold the highest toilet
- Tomatoes arrive in Europe during the 16th century and now have become one of the most used vegetables in Europe