THE EUROPE BOOK
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
The Europe Book - Journey Through Every Country on the Continent
(Lonely Planet) ISBN 978-1741047332 1741047331
The Europe Book will make you want to pack your bags and visit Europe. Individual country profiles and maps help you decide what to see and do in European countries, from Greenland to Azerbaijan and from Finland to Cyprus.
Lonely Planet's 255-page coffee table book answers virtually every question you have about Europe: What is the population of Europe? (817.2 million); What is the highest mountain in Europe? (Mount Elbrus in Russia, with 5,642 m and 5,621 m twin peaks) and What is the longest river in Europe? (the Volga, which runs 3,700 km. from the Valdai Hills, northwest of Moscow, to the Caspian Sea).
Europe's largest country
Readers learn that Russia is the largest country in Europe, the Vatican is the smallest country, Greenland is the largest island and Andorra has the longest life expectancy in the world (83.5 years).
The Europe Book provides interesting, informative and insightful facts about Europeans, their customs, way of life, architecture, food, art, scenery, festivals and industry.
The Lonely Planet book organizes European countries geographically. For each country in Europe, it specifies the capital, population, area, official languages, geography, history, people, economy, ecotourism, festivals and essential experiences. For example, the Latvia section identifies the capital as Riga, the population at 2.3 million, the most popular festival, Jani (St. John's Night on the summer solstice) and the famous Latvian Black Balsams liquor, containing wormwood.
The Europe Book displays large, colorful images of people, cities, scenery, cuisine, buildings, art and cultures of European countries. Monochrome maps locate cities and current political borders.
Special events in Europe
A Timeline of 32 epic events begins with the first signs of human settlers in Europe (850,000 BC). Key dates include the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Interesting and informative facts describe each country in Europe. For example, Vatican City Random Facts state that the Holy See has one of the highest crime rates in the world. Readers of The Europe Book will be surprised to learn that St. Peter's Basilica is not the world's largest church. The cathedral in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire, is the largest church in the world.
The Outrageous Landmarks chapter discusses unusual architecture in Europe, including the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, the Louvre Glass Pyramid in Paris, France, and the Guggenheim Museum in Barcelona, Spain.
Independent European nations
Europe's Unrecognized Nations chapter provides information about independent European countries, including Monaco, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Andorra and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the wealthiest country in the world. Unofficial nations of the Caucasus include South Ossetia (near the Russian border with Georgia), Abkhazia (between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains) and Nagorno-Karabakh (in Azerbaijan).
Relics of colonial Europe, discussed in the Lonely Planet Europe book, include Wallis and Futuna Islands (north of Fiji), Mayotte (near Africa), Guadeloupe (Caribbean), St. Pierre and Miquelon (near the east coast of Canada), French Guiana (north coast of South America), and Kerguelen (in the southern Indian Ocean). The chapter also discusses European independence movements such as the Basque Country, Galicia and Catalunya regions of Spain, and Kalmykia (in western Russia), the only Buddhist region of Europe.
The New Europe chapter reviews the history of the 27 countries that make up the European Union (EU). Readers learn that the EU has its own flag, anthem, national day (May 9), motto (United in Diversity), currency (euro) and budget (one per cent of EU members' gross national income).
Great Journeys features six European tour itineraries. The Grand Tour, between London and Sicily, was the traditional journey taken by young men in the 16th to 18th centuries. A Pilgrims' Progress is a trip across northern Spain. The Venice Simplon Orient Express from Istanbul, Turkey, to London, England, is a nostalgic train journey. Scandinavian Surprises brings travelers by rail, road and ferry from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Nordkapp, Finland, Stockholm, Sweden, Copenhagen, Denmark, Iceland, Bergen, Norway and Sognefjorden, the longest and deepest fjord in Norway.
- Introducing Europe
- Europe Geographical Map
- Europe at a Glance
- Great Journeys
- Scandinavian Surprises
- Pilgrims' Progress
- The Grand Tour
- Behind the Iron Curtain
- Nostalgia on the Orient Express
- Float the Adriatic, Aegean & Black Seas
- British Isles & the Low Countries
- Western Mediterranean
- Vatican City
- San Marino
- Central Europe
- Czech Republic
- Eastern Mediterranean & the Balkans
- Bosnia & Hercegovina
- The Black Sea & Caucasus
- Scandinavian & Baltic Europe