The resort of Albena is situated 32 km north of Varna and just 12km south-west of Balchik on a long sand stretch in the open northern part of Varna Bay. The resort's errection was started in 1968, which makes it one of the most modern holiday cities along the Bulgarian coast. The complex lies beneath a relatively high hill and is given particular charm by the near-by forest of Baltata, a part of which is declared a protected area. The latter is also called Batova Gora (Batova Forecast) after the Batova river, in the valley of which it grows. The Albena's architecture resembles one of Walter Gropius' urban models as most of the hotels have a terraced structure aimed at providing as much sun as possible in summer days. To the north the coast is steep, featuring yellow sandstone and limestone typical of the area. It is in fact this stone slope that was the main source of construction material for the resort
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.