Month: February 2019

Where in the world are the countries beginning with C?

Countries Starting with C

Continuing my theme of locating all the countries throughout the world, this is a list of all the countries beginning with C. There are 18 countries beginning with C, including 8 in Africa. There is one that I have never heard of before (Comoros).

Cabo Verde – more commonly known as Cape Verde (Green Cape), this series of islands is located off the North West coast of mainland Africa. It is an African nation that lies West of mainland Senegal. Cabo Verde is located in the Atlantic, South West of the Canary Islands.

Cambodia – Asian nation with a coastline on the Gulf of Thailand. Borders with Thailand to the North West, Laos to the North East and Vietnam to the East.

Cameroon – Central African country with a Western coastline on the Gulf of Guinea. Several borders to the North, East and South of the country.

Canada – North American country, North of the United States of America. Canada is the second largest country by area and sits in the Atlantic on the West and the Pacific to the East. Widely varying climates range from hot summers in the south to arctic weather in the North (stretches to the Arctic Circle in the North). It is unknown how many islands there are in Canada, but it estimated to be over 30,000.

Central African Republic – landlocked country in central Africa. Borders with Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Cameroon. As one of the top ten poorest countries in the world, Central African Republic is thought to be the unhealthiest country in the world and the worst country to be young.

Chad – landlocked country in North Central Africa. Borders with Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger. Chad is known as the Babel Tower of the World due its cultural diversity. Chad has over 200 ethnic groups and 100 recognised languages spoken in the country.

Chile – long, narrow country in South America that sits South of Peru and runs alongside Argentina to the East. Also borders Bolivia. The country has over 6,000km of Pacific Ocean coastline. There are around 3,000 volcanoes in Chile and about 36 of these are active.

China – massive country in East Asia sitting South of Mongolia. China is the most populous country in the world with about 1.4 billion people. China borders 14 countries (shares the record for most borders with Russia). A large Eastern coastline sits on the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and South China Sea.

Colombia – South American country that has a small join with Panama to the North West. Further borders with Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. With coastlines in the Caribbean Sea to the North and the Pacific to the West.

Comoros – African country that I’ve never heard of. Comoros is an Archipelago (extensive group of islands) in the Indian Ocean off Africa’s East coast. Mozambique sits to the West of Comoros and Madagascar is located South East of Comoros.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the – formerly Zaire (1971-1997), DRC is situated in Central Africa. A large country, DRC is the eleventh largest country in the world. DRC lies on the Equator with about a third of the country North of the Equator and two thirds to the South. DRC has a small coastline (37 km) to the West into the Atlantic.

Congo, Republic of the – a country in Central Africa, Republic of the Congo has borders with five countries (Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola). Republic of the Congo features a small coastline on the Atlantic Ocean to the South West of the country.

Costa Rica – Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. Borders with Nicaragua to the North and Panama to the South.

Cote d’Ivoire – my only familiarity with the Ivory Coast is thanks to the World Cup and their football team. I seem to recall that their flag is easily confused with the Irish flag. Having checked this, the Cote d’Ivoire flag is orange, white and green stripes where Ireland’s is green, white and orange. Located on the South coast of West Africa, it borders Guinea, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana.

Croatia – located in central and Southeast Europe, Croatia has borders with Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The Adriatic Sea separates Croatia from Italy which lies to the West of Croatia. Croatia consists of over a thousand islands and islets, 48 of which are permanently inhabited.

Cuba – located in the Northern Caribbean, Cuba includes the island of Cuba, Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. The country lies South of Miami and East of Cancun in Mexico. Cuba is situated where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet.

Cyprus – I’ve always thought the country of Cyprus looks like a stingray. Cyprus is a small European island which lies West of Syria. Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean, South of Turkey.

Czech Republic – landlocked country in central Europe, Czech Republic has borders with Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland.

Previous posts include Where in the world are all the countries beginning with A? and Where in the world are all countries beginning with B?


Family Day Out at Clovelly, North Devon

Family Day Out in Clovelly

What a gem of a place! I knew nothing of Clovelly before discovering a flyer whilst staying in a cottage in North Devon. Clovelly is a little fishing village that is traffic-free, other than donkeys and sledges to deliver supplies and the odd Land Rover to deliver hotel guests to their accommodation.

We were delighted to discover no charge for the car park. Then we were a little taken aback at the £20 admission charge to visit the village. However once we had made our way to the picturesque historic harbour, we justified the expense.

Accessibility to Clovelly

The journey down to the village involves a very steep hill that winds down to the harbour (about 400 feet down). It was sunny and lovely the day that we visited, but I imagine it could be very slippy on a wet and miserable day.

I wouldn’t recommend this place to people with accessibility issues. We did see a couple of parents with buggies, but it didn’t look much fun. Most wheelchair users would find this place a nightmare. We had a chat with a man in his eighties who had retired to Clovelly. He makes the walk up and down the hill each day to keep himself fit. I think this would be a challenge for older people that struggle to walk far.

Our kids and grandparents managed the walk pretty well. We took our time and enjoyed the views as we entered this pretty village. We also had an ice cream and a drink on the way.

Things to See in Clovelly

There are some lovely shops in Clovelly including gift shops, art shops and sweet shops. We bought some small sweet gifts including Clovelly specific items like notepads and pens and also more generic items. The Water Babies book is for sale in a few shops as this was written by Charles Kingsley who spent a lot of time in Clovelly. A small museum in the village is dedicated to him.

There is a short film explaining the history of the Clovelly. It is quite interesting for adults and short enough for kids to sit through. This runs every few minutes in the main entrance and gift shop. There are lots of lovely cafes, pubs and restaurants.

There are museums and craft workshops, including a fisherman’s cottage museum that you can walk through and see how a typical village house would have looked in the 1930’s. My young kids quite enjoyed the walk around cottage. There was a sweet art gallery/shop showing various materials and techniques which you could also purchase.

Donkey stables are located at the top of the hill with the offer of rides for little ones.

There is a lifeboat station that we wanted to look round, but we were told this was not an option as the staff were too busy. We did notice a bunch of guys drinking tea and chatting inside so that was a shame.

At the bottom of the hill beyond the harbour, there is a beautiful stone beach. Our kids loved finding pretty stones and it was very relaxing to sit and enjoy the sea view.

If you fancy a visit to Clovelly, check out the Clovelly website.

If driving to Clovelly, you should be aware that your Sat Nav may not recognise the village of Clovelly as there are no roads for cars in the actual village of Clovelly. There are plenty of signs in and around Bideford.


The Bestest Superlatives in Geography

Due to my poor knowledge of Geography, I am trying to improve my awareness of the world and world facts. I began by identifying all the countries in the world, then I worked on locating them all, starting with countries beginning with A. I added a further post describing the locations of all countries beginning with B. This exercise is proving more time-consuming than I expected. Rather than plod on through countries beginning with C, I thought I’d look at some top Geography facts. Biggest, longest, highest, all the great bestest superlatives relating to the world.

Top World Facts

All the top facts relating to the biggest and bestest superlatives in the world:

  1. Largest continent – Asia – 17, 212, 000 square miles
  2. Smallest continent – Australia – 3, 132, 000 square miles
  3. Largest country – Russia – 6, 592, 735 square miles
  4. Smallest country – Vatican City – 0.17 square miles
  5. Largest city (population) – Tokyo – 38 million (Dec 2016)
  6. Largest ocean – Pacific – 70 million square miles (181.4 million square km)
  7. Smallest ocean – Arctic Ocean – 5, 427, 000 square miles
  8. Longest river – Nile (North/East Africa) – 4,145 miles
  9. Largest river by area – Amazon (c. 2.7 million square miles)
  10. Largest lake – Caspian Sea (Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran) 18,880 cubic metres
  11. Highest mountain – Mount Everest, The Himalayas, Nepal – 8,850 m (29, 035 feet) above sea level
  12. Coldest recorded temperature – Vostok, Antartica -128.6 F
  13. Hottest recorded temperature – Al Aziziyah, Libya 58 C (136.4 F) recorded in 1922
  14. Highest waterfall – Angel Falls (Venezuela) 978 m (3,209 feet)
  15. Largest island – Greenland (part of Denmark) – 822,500 square miles
  16. Biggest desert – Sahara 3, 500, 000 sq miles (9 million square km)

The above list includes many of the top superlative geography facts.

How about some other interesting Geography facts to blow your mind?

Interesting World Facts

  1. Australia is wider than the moon – Moon 2,100 miles (3,400 km) diameter, Australia 2,485 miles (4,000 km) diameter.
  2. Russia and the US are only 2.5 miles (4km) apart geographically at their closest point, but there is a 21 hour time difference between them.
  3. There are only 2 countries in the world that are double land-locked, ie you need to travel through 2 countries to reach the sea – Uzbekistan and Liechtenstein (some argue that the Caspian Sea disqualifies Uzbekistan, however this is widely regarded as a big lake, biggest in the world, see above).
  4. Glaciers store about 75% of the planet’s fresh water.
  5. There are 11 states in the US which are larger than the UK.
  6. The Pacific Ocean is shrinking while the Atlantic is getting wider.
  7. Continents shift at about the same rate as your fingernails grow.
  8. The Dead Sea is currently 429 metres below sea level and sinking about 1 metre a year.
  9. Russia spans 11 time zones.
  10. More than half the world’s population lives in India, China and a few other South East Asian countries.
  11. There are no bridges across the Amazon, the biggest river of the world (largest by area, see above).
  12. The shortest name of a place is ‘A’. There are several villages with this name in Scandinavia and the letter features a little circle above it that I can’t type. It means ‘river’. There are other one letter names of places including ‘U’ a place in Tibet. ‘O’ is the name of a river in Devon, England.

So, there’s a bunch of interesting facts that I should try to remember for my pub quiz.

Where in the world are all the countries beginning with B?

Countries Starting with B

Following on from my previous post about the location of countries starting with A, I am now moving on to countries beginning with B. There’s quite a few to get through so I’d best grab my globe and get on Google. In fact, there are seventeen countries beginning with B and one that I have never heard of – Benin.

The Bahamas – located in the Atlantic Ocean, the Bahamas are just off the South East coast of Florida. This collection of islands includes over 700 islands. Cuba sits South of the Bahamas.

Bahrain – based in the Middle East, Bahrain is a small island, which is close to Qatar. Bahrain sits in the Persian Gulf to the East of Saudi Arabia.

Bangladesh – Bangladesh is to the East of India with a coastline in the Bay of Bengal. There is a small border with Myanmar to the East of Bangladesh.

Barbados – a small island in the Caribbean, Barbados is one of the Eastern islands. East of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Belarus – an Eastern European country with borders to Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

Belgium – Belgium is an interesting country with three distinct regions. Dutch-speaking Flanders is to the North, French-speaking Wallonia is to the South and the German-speaking region to the East. I was amazed to see road signs in all three languages on different coloured signposts whilst trying to navigate through Bruges and ended up driving down the tram line.

Belize – Central American country with bordering Mexico to the North West. Belize also has a border with Guatemala to the South and West. I had a friend from Belize at college who had the strangest sense of humour. When studying Spanish grammar, he was asked “What do we need to be careful of?” He answered “crossing the road?” seemingly serious. I also recall him marking my vocabulary test and insisting that my dodgy answers where actually local dialect in Belize, despite me having simply guessed a word.

Benin – I have never heard of the country of Benin, but I have discovered that it is situated in West Africa. Borders with Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria. Interestingly Benin is the birthplace of Voodoo (vodun religion).

Bhutan – based in South Asia, Bhutan sits on the Eastern edge of the Himalayas,. It is a landlocked country, which is North of Bangladesh.

Bolivia – landlocked country in  the centre of South America. Bordered by Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile. Bolivia incorporates desert, rainforest and mountains (Andes Mountains).

Bosnia and Hertzegovina – based in southeastern Europe, Bosnia and Hertzegovina has borders with Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. Bosnia has just 20km (12 miles) of coastline into the Adriatic Sea. Interestingly the presidency rotates between a Serb, a Muslim and a Croat every 8 months.

Botswana – based in South Africa, Botswana is a landlocked country with borders with South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia (just  a few hundred metres long). A large portion of the country is desert (the Kalahari Desert).

Brazil – a huge country in South America, Brazil sits to the East. Significant coastline into the South Atlantic Ocean. Chile and Ecuador are the only South American countries to not border Brazil. This leaves Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

Brunei – a tiny Asian country on the island of Borneo. There are two separate parts of the country with Malaysia running between them.

Bulgaria – Balkan country with coastline in the Black Sea. Borders with Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. The Danube River passes through Bulgaria (also called ‘The Daube’ by my Geography teacher, incorrectly reading and copying from a textbook. No word of a lie, explains a lot!)

Burkina Faso – landlocked country in Western Africa. Borders with Mali and Niger to the North as well as various countries to the South. The name Burkina Faso means “land of incorruptible people”, which was adopted in 1984. Formerly known as Upper Volta.

Burundi – landlocked country in East Central Africa, Burundi is situated between Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Lake Takanyika is an African Great Lake and flows down the South West of Burundi.

My next list will be all the countries beginning with C. This is going to take some time!