Paris, the capital of France, is located in northern France on both banks of the Seine River, 145 km (90 mi) from the river's mouth on the English Channel. A total of 2,135,300 (2002) inhabitants live in Paris proper, and almost 11 million persons (1999) live in greater Paris (the Ile-de-France region), which is one of Europe's largest metropolitan areas. A city of world importance and the business, historic, intellectual, diplomatic, religious, educational, artistic, and tourist center of France, Paris owes its prosperity in large part to its favorable position on the Seine, which has been a major commercial artery since the Roman period.
Paris is one of the most fascinating and romantic cities in Europe, and tourists visiting this wonderful city will find that things to see and do are almost limitless. Paris, "The City of Lights", is synonymous with romance. Blessed with enchanting and beautiful landscape, it is a popular tourist destination. Paris has to offer something for everyone and attracts people from all wakes of life irrespective of age, culture, milieu, gender, and nationality. The charm of the city lies in its warmth and romance which is exuded in the attitude and outlook of Parisian. If your soul is seeking for the right place to express its identity, your heart looking for love, then Paris may be the abode you are searching for. The congeniality and warmth of the place and people have the power to breathe life into your otherwise, lifeless soul. You can see Paris coming to life when the whole city is lit up at night. Discover yourself in the rich culture and heritage of the city. Paris is famous for its world famous landmarks, parks, museums, galleries, institutions. Nowhere will you find a galaxy of gallery in a single place. Today, it finds a place among major global cities because of its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science and the arts. Paris is one of the world’s leading business and cultural centers.
Portugal is a country essentially agriculturist, exporting 75 percent of its agricultural and cattle production. Crops are fundamentally grain - mainly wheat and corn - but the production of olive oil, vegetables and herbs is also important. The viniculture dominates the agricultural activities to the North of the Douro (where you can find the generous Porto wine) and, annually, about 15 million litres are produced. Portugal is the biggest producer, in Europe, of cork oak and has, equally, a big importance in the olive oil production and exportation of canned food. The fishing industry is also important to the national economy. The construction and steel industries have gradually increased along with the tourist industry, a precious source of foreign currency. Member of the European Union since 1986, Portugal enjoys a healthy economic growth.
Southern Portugal, including the Algarve, has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. In the north the weather is wetter, particularly in winter, and cooler, temperatures influenced by Atlantic currents and the Spanish Meseta. In mainland Portugal, yearly temperature averages are about 15°C (55°F) in the north and 18°C (64°F) in the south. Madeira and Azores have a narrower temperature range as expected given their insularity, with the former having low precipitation in most of the archipelago and the latter being wet and rainy. Spring and Summer months are usually sunny and temperature maximum are very high during July and August, with maximums averaging between 35°C and 40°C (86°F - 95°F) in the interior of the country, 30°C and 35°C in the north, and occasionally reaching 45°C (113°F) in the south. Autumn and Winter are typically rainy and windy, yet sunny days are not rare either. Temperatures rarely fall below 5°C (41°F) nearer to the sea, averaging 10°C (50°F), but can reach several degrees below 0°C (32°F) further inland. Snow is common in winter in the mountainous areas of the north, especially in Serra da Estrela but melts quickly once the season is over.
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