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Map of Europe

Map of Eastern Europe

Map of Eastern Europe

The countries in Red above make up what is known as Eastern Europe. East Europe as a concept has been in decline since the end of the cold war. Many of the countries on the Western border of the above countries marked in red have either entered the European Union or are moving to join. Joining the European Union is conceptual a step to becoming a Western country. Countries like Slovenia, Poland, Bulgaria and even the Czech Republic. Look at this map for a more complete idea of the countries that make up Western Europe and a list of the countries trying to enter the European Union.

The end of the cold war saw the end of the many large conglomerations of communist nations. The biggest of these was the Soviet Union (The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) which was made up of countries such as Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Ukraine, Georgia and a number of other countries. so the map above is more of a modern representation of the countries that formerly made up East Europe. Other former Communist Nations that split up into smaller countries are  as follows:

  • Yugoslavia – which split into Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.
  • Czechoslovakia – Which split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

So as you can see even though we still use the terms Western and Eastern Europe, they are quickly becoming an outdated concept and the boundary that separates East and West is blurrier than ever.

here we have a list of the countries that make up Eastern Europe.

Map of Western Europe

Map of Western Europe

Western Europe as we know it, is a geopolitical construct that came into being at the time of the Cold War. Although references to West and Eastern Europe can be traced back to the Roman empire.

Shortly after World War 2 the alliance between the USSR and England/USA broke down and in it’s place rose the cold war. The two sides where named the East and the West. The west was made up of the Western alliance countries of Europe, including countries such as Spain, England and France. However in this stand off even countries not in Europe like the United States of America were considered part of the “The West”.

Eastern Europe was a conglomeration of countries that the USSR annexed and countries that were subservient to the USSR. most if not all of these countries were communist countries.

Post Cold War, the terminology of Western and Eastern Europe remained, even though technically the lines between East and West were becoming blurry.

In the map above the countries in blue are considered western countries, although during the cold war Germany was split into East and West. The Green countries are countries that are becoming more and more Westernized and would probably consider themselves as part of Western Europe now. many of which have joined or are attempting to join the European Union.

Russian Ruble falls to lowest rate for 2014 against the US Dollar

Russian Ruble drops against the US dollar
Image from Yahoo Finance

With the Annexation of The Crimea and with Russia taking an active role in the war in the Ukraine, world opinion of Putin’s Russia has rarely been lower. This was highlighted when the West came together in March to enforce sanctions on Russia. Since then there have been another two rounds which seem to be having a quicker than expected constrictive affect on the Russian economy.

Today the Ruble dropped by 13% against the greenback and the day hasn’t finished. It is in fact the lowest it has been in five years. Oil prices are dropping again and as the Russian economy is linked to energy prices this slump has magnified the power of the sanctions. The fear that Russia would shut off the gas supply to Europe this year hasn’t seemed to eventuate and the speculation is that Russia can’t afford to carry out the threat without a massively detrimental affect on it’s own economy.

The other rumor is that a shady deal between Russia’s state owned Rosneft and the central bank that was supposed to fool the smart money, didn’t. The deal would allow Rosneft to refinance itself out of foreign bank debt and into Russian banks but this now looks like it has backfired.

With oil prices looking like they will be trending down and OPEC saying they expect low prices for a while as well as that they’re not afraid of $40 a barrel oil. Russia could be in a spot of bother as the economy seems to be geared for approximately $80 a barrel. Russian’s must be looking at Putin and wondering is he really worth all the bother? It looks like 2015 is going to be an interesting year on the world stage.

Slovakia

slovakia

Slovakia is a small country located in the Central Europe, south of Poland. Most part of the country is rugged and mountainous. Thus, it is a perfect destination for winter sports of all kinds. Bratislava is the capital city of this nation, where population is about 431,000 and still counting. It is the cultural, political and economic centre of Slovakia. This is where a large number of museums, galleries, theatres, universities and other cultural and educational institutions are found.

When you choose to travel Slovakia, you will come across with European style of museums like the largest Slovak National Gallery at Razusovo. This is where you can find the baroque and gothic art, which are truly remarkable. Historically restored both permanent and temporary art exhibitions are also set up in the following palaces in Old Town. Just to name a few, that would be Palffy Palace, Primate Palace, Mirbach and Zichy Palace. The history of Bratislava, especially during the 19th and early 20thcentury life in the city can be seen in one of the city’s museum on Primicialne. It possesses such a wonderful history that you can experience if you choose to travel this country.

If you are looking for a place to visit during this holiday season, consider Slovakia as your one stop destination. This is a not so big country when we speak about space area. However, this place can be good for recreational purposes because it is not overcrowded as compared to other popular countries. Aside from the ski resorts that are often visited by the locals on the south of the country, the capital city of Slovakia has a full directory of different pubs, bars and cafes. Search for a particular place to drink if you want to spend and enjoyable night with friends and families. If you want a martini darling or have some good taste of vodka, Cirkus Barok and Trafo Music Bar are places that you should pay a visit. If gaming is what you desired, sports and Guinness can be experienced at Dubliner Pub. There is certainly a type of activity, which you can enjoy with the different café districts at Bratislava.

Spending an active holiday would also be possible in Slovakia. This country now becomes one of the new winter destinations because of its fantastic site for skiing and snowboarding. If you are a winter sport lover, Slovakia is a good destination for you. Map of Slovakia will show that almost all mountains are suitable and most are properly equipped for a safe and enjoyable skiing, hiking and horse riding. Hiking in Slovakia Mountains is an activity that you should never miss being engaged into. High Tatras are stunningly beautiful and extremely challenging for adventurous and outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking trails on this area are approximately open from July 1 to October 15, depending on the weather.

The capital city Bratislava in Slovakia has a marvelous range of hotels and apartments that you can choose from. You will surely find a place to rest that will suit your budget. Looking for a hotel in Bratislava can be tricky during peak seasons of winter and summer vacations. However, you need not to worry yourself about it because there are other hotels around the place that will not command a much higher price. Therefore, when thinking about the next place to have a vacation, Slovakia is one of the top destinations that you should never fail to spot.

How do the Irish see the Map of Europe?

Irish map of europeOk this Map of Europe is just a bit of fun. One of our employees is an extremely proud Irishman and was talking about the St Patrick’s Day. it was mentioned that the whole world seemed to celebrate St Patrick’s day (a bit like the German Oktoberfest). Then he decided to show us how the Irish viewed the rest of Europe by making a special map for us. so without any further a adieu we present “how the Irish see the Map of Europe”.