Geography and landscapes Spain
Spain, as surprising as it may seem, is above all the montagne. This country is in fact the most mountainous in Europe after Switzerland, with an average altitude of 650 m and the highest capital on the continent (646 m). The center of Spain perfectly illustrates this geographical particularity: there dominate sierras and plateaus, in a rather complex tangle.
- In the center of the Center is the Meseta ("Small table" in Spanish), a vast essentially granite plateau, 300 million years old, slightly inclined towards the west (which explains the direction of the flow of the main rivers of the country, from the east to the west). 'Where is). Its altitude varies between 600 and 1 m. La Meseta is known for its harsh, purely continental climate, well caricatured by the famous proverb: "000 months of winter, 9 months of hell". The continental character is reinforced by the mountain ranges that encircle it and isolate it from the coastal regions.
- In the north, the austere Cantabrian Mountains, an Iberian extension of the Pyrenees, culminates at 2 m in the beautiful limestone massif of the Picos de Europa, which bites in its southern part on the province of León.
- To the south, the sierra Morena marks the border of the Channel.
- In the northeast, the cordillèest, and the two Castile west side. The Douro and the Tagus are born there.
Finally, let us note, for êCastille (now Castille-LeóCastille (Castille-La Mancha), to the south.
The landscapes and climate of the Meseta are also found in Aragon, which however benefits from a much more marked Mediterranean trend.
Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria
The Pyréouest, to extend through the Basque mountains, then through the Cordillèàdire towards the Mediterranean and Castile. In the north, they flow into the Atlantic. On the one hand, the long rivers become trade routes and routes of entry; on the other, the tumultuous torrents rush down to the sea in deep valleys.
North (Cantabria and Asturias), the coastal strip is narrow and the valleys strongly indented, due to rapid erosion. West (Galicia), the coastal strip widens. Wide river valleys are hollowed out which, thanks to a geological accident, have been partially invaded by the sea: the rías. There are five rías baixas (the largest), like thorns in the western flank of Galicia. The low tide discovers large muddy foreshore there, where migrating birds like to stopover.
Taking advantage of this particular geography, the main ports have developed at the bottom or on the side of these very safe indentations, protected from the Atlantic breaking waves. The more exposed coasts reveal, them, stoic granite capes and successions of fine sand beaches of any beauty.
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