Steall Falls in Glen Nevis
In Glen Nevis, there are delightful walks to satisfy the low-level hiker and photographer - as alternative things to do if the weather is too bad to walk up the Ben Nevis footpath. One such walk is a hike through the gorge in Glen Nevis, where the River Nevis cascades and tumbles down from the surrounding mountains, on its way to the sea.
This walk is relatively easy but good footware is recommended. Walkers can park their cars in Braveheart carpark or at the Ionad Nibheis Centre near the entrance to the Glen, whilst whose preferring a much shorter walk can begin at the Lower Falls carpark. If you only have a couple of hours, then you can park at the head of the Glen, near the entrance to the gorge. On your way into this most beautiful of Highland Glens you are bound to see some of the local Highland cattle grazing.
Before the gorge, the Lower Falls are the first real show of power the river can offer and during wet periods these waterfalls are extremely impressive as they thunder below your feet under the bridge.
Once in the Gorge you will be delighted with wild flowers, gently cascading streams and some superb views both ahead of you and behind. After a short but pleasant walk over rocky ground the gorge opens up to reveal a hanging valley with Steall Falls pouring into the scene from high above.
A further 15 minute walk brings you to the wire-rope bridge where you can see Steall Falls at close hand, and test your balance and nerve by crossing the river on the steel rope bridge. Don't forget your camera and film, waterproofs and midgy repellant!
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.