During our stay at Halne for Easter, we dug a snow hole round the back of the cabin. We have all built plenty of holes before, but this was the biggest yet. We reckon that the hole will sleep 6 at a push. With Mark missing a sleeping bag and Heather enjoying posing for the photo, but enjoying more the warmth of the cabin, it came down to me to test it out. So the night before I took the photo I slept in the hole. With temperatures of -20 to -25 outside, this was going to be a really interesting test, and the first time I have slept in a snow hole. It worked out pretty well and I "slept" in the hole from around midnight to 7 in the morning. I didn’t have a thermometer unfortunately, so I don’t know how warm it got, but I'm guessing -5. The hole was really way too big for one, and I think the air hole in the roof was also too big for one. I could see that my breath was being quickly circulated away from me, indicating that there was too much ventilation. The result was that my face got rather cold. The other problem was that the floor was not level enough and I kept sliding towards the entrance. All in all however, it was a great experience and reassuring to know that this will save your life in a desperate situation.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.