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Plant kingdom in France
In the mountains near the snow line, open rocky substrates with insignificant development of mosses and lichens are widespread. Further down the slopes, but still, above the upper limit of the forest, alpine meadows are used for grazing sheep and cattle. Below the upper border of the forest, the higher belt is represented by coniferous forests of pine, larch, fir, and spruce, at the very border their growth is delayed and the curved forest prevails, but with decreasing height, the trees become taller and slender. Coniferous forests give way to deciduous oak, beech, and chestnut forests.
In France, there are only minor remnants of the majestic forests that once covered the plains and low mountains. Most plains are plowed and forest areas are limited to poorer soils. However, the lower parts of France are by no means devoid of trees: forest plantations usually stretch along roads and canals. They are especially typical of the landscape of Normandy and Brittany. The most special is the vegetation on the Mediterranean coast, where there can be only plants that can withstand prolonged summer drought. Instead of forests, isolated low trees and bushes grow here, between which there are protrusions of rocks. The most characteristic trees are olive, cork oak, and Aleppo pine.
Animal species in France
France has become very impoverished under the influence of human economic activity. Nevertheless, the wild fauna here is better preserved than in neighboring countries. There are Central European, Mediterranean, and alpine species, especially in nature reserves and national parks. For example, brown bears and wild goats live in the park of the Western Pyrenees, and stone goats in the Vanoise National Park in Savoy.
Among the predatory mammals in France are widespread fox, badger, otter, and in the south - genes. Squirrels, rats, and mice are characteristic of rodents. There are many bats in the southern regions. In some places, the rabbits have survived, and among the ungulates, in some large forests, there are red deer, roe deer, wild boar, and beaver. On the island of Corsica, there are mouflons or wild rams in the mountains.
The world of birds is very rich and diverse. For example, in the Pyrenees, moving from the foothills to the peaks, the following species can be observed successively: willow, bullfinch, spade, meadow chiffon, song thrush, black grouse, rattle, wood rooster, red-winged wall climber, white-fronted thrush, alpine jackdaw, and gray tundra partridge and alpine finch. Skinny birds include bearded vultures, griffon vultures, and vultures. Large feathered predators have survived in the mountains of France, including eagles and sea eagles. The Camargue region in the Rhone Delta is characterized by an exceptional abundance of waterfowl and other birds.
France is severely depleted. Most of the catches in rivers and lakes are artificially farmed trout. Sardine, flounder, and herring are caught in the Bay of Biscay, as well as lobster, shrimp, and shellfish.
The allure of France
The French coast stretches for 3120 km. The dark cliffs of Brittany, the long ridges of the Atlantic dunes, the beautiful beaches and bays of the Mediterranean, the beautiful coast of Corsica, and the southeastern Cote d'Azur("Riviera") attract millions of tourists. A relatively small area, just a hundred kilometers of coastline from Jerez to Menton, protected from the north winds at the foot of the Alps and the Mercantour-Côte d'Azur mountain range, has long been a "European recreation center". The entire coast is dotted with luxury hotels, restaurants, private beaches, boutiques, and luxury villas. There are many historical monuments - the old cathedral of Grasse, the abbey of Valbon, the fortified monastery of Lerins, the fortress of Montalbano, the monastery of Cimiez, the church of Luceram, the church of Bar-sur-Loup, and beautiful natural landmarks - the gorge Restefon-Bonnett is considered the highest The Alps (2802 m. High), the picturesque gorge de Tend, clear mountain rivers and many waterfalls.
Nice is the "capital" of the Cote d'Azur, stretching along the shores of the Bayeux des Langues("Bay of Angels"), surrounded by the foothills of the Alps. The heart of the city is the central promenade of England - a luxurious sea boulevard with a length of 5 km, an ideal place for walking and relaxing. The city has many palaces, churches, and museums - the famous Nice Opera, the Palace of Walrose, the cathedrals of Sainte Reparate (17th century) and Saint Martin, the House of the Cougurdons, the Chapel of Mercy, Chateau Hill with the castle, beautiful park and waterfall, the Museum of Modern Art (MAMAC), the Matisse Museum with one of the best exhibitions of this artist, the Observatory, the Church of St. John D'Arc, the Museum of Archeology and the Marc Chagall Museum with seventeen canvases on Old Testament objects, illustrations, gouache, graphics and lithographs of the great master. Palace of Congresses “Nicholas" on Boulevard "Tsarevich" (1912), called "Moscow in the heart of Nice". Here are buried Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich and his wife, as well as many Russian emigrants. Not far from Nice is Saint-Marie-de-la Mayor, where thousands of gypsies gather every year to pay homage to their patron Saint Sarah.
Climate in France
France has a temperate climate with warm winters, except in the mountainous regions and the northeast. The Atlantic Ocean determines the climate in the western part of the country, with high humidity, frequent strong winds, and heavy rainfall. The northeastern part of France has a classic continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Between these two areas is the Paris basin with the least annual rainfall, where rainfall is unpredictable. The average annual temperature in Paris is 12 C, but the thermometer sometimes drops below zero in January and in August can rise to 30 C and even higher.
The Mediterranean influence extends to a 160 km wide coastal zone in the south of France. Winters here are mild and humid, although most of the precipitation occurs in the form of short showers, and there is clear weather between them. Summer is hot and dry. For example, in Marseille, the average temperature in January is 7 C, and in July 22 C, although during the day the temperature sometimes rises to 38 C. The average annual rainfall is 580 mm, there are 95 days of rainfall per year. Mistral, a cold wind that sometimes blows from the north, especially in winter, brings unusually cold weather to the Mediterranean coast of France.