Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Geography of France

France has beautiful land. It has lush green forests, sparkling rivers, and mountains. The highest point is on Mount Blanc, the mountain range that runs across the border of France and Italy. Mount Blanc rises 15,771 feet at its highest point in the French Alps. The longest river is Loire River. The Loire River is 634 miles long. It begins 85 miles north of the Mediterranean Sea, and flows north for about 300 miles. The Loire River then turns southwest and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. One of the most attractive sites is a granite plateau in Massif Central. Vichy is dotted with volcanoes, crater lakes, and hot spring.
France’s landscapes vary from flat empty plains to Mount Blanc. The land in northern France is made up of mostly the Paris Basin. The Paris Basin is land that is very flat in many places, and gradually slopes down. In the center of the basin is the city of Paris. The east side of the basin is made of limestone, and is a good strong natural defense. On the west side, ridges form cliffs along the English Channel. The north side of the Paris Basin moves into the plains of Flanders and Northwestern Europe. To the northeast and east are the Ardennes and Vosges mountains. In the southwest the Paris basin is connected to the other large lowland in France called the Aquitaine Basin by a piece of land called the Gate of Poitou. The south-central part of France is mostly peaks of land as high as 4,000 – 6,000 feet. This land is mostly made by volcanic activity. It is known as the Massif Central.
Some of Europe’s mountains border France to the southeast and southwest. East of Massif Central the Jura mountain range moves into the Alps. In France, the Alps begin at the Mediterranean Sea where they are called the Maritime Alps. Then they travel north and turn east entering Switzerland and Northern Italy.
  The Pyrenees Mountains rise between France and Spain, but the Alps in some ways are more impressive. The highest point of the French Pyrenees is called Pic de Vignemale, and is 10,820 feet high. The Pyrenees is higher on the Spanish side, with peaks higher than 11,000 feet.  
France has three main rivers – the Seine, the Loire, and the Rhone. The Seine River is in northeast France. It starts its 485-mile northwest journey running through Pairs, and empties into the English Channel. It is the second longest river in France. Next is the Loire River. The Loire River is the longest river in France, at 634 miles long. It gets water from melting snow from the mountaintops, and it flows through the Paris Basin and coastal plain. Last is the Rhone River. The Rhone River flows from the Swiss Alps to the Mediterranean Sea. It divides into two branches about 25 miles before flowing into the Mediterranean Sea. The Grand Rhone runs southeast, and the Petit Rhone runs southwest. The total length of the Rhone River is a little more than 500 miles.
France has beautiful land, mountains, and rivers. It has coastal water on the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel. The countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain also surround France, and across the English Channel is the United Kingdom.