Impressions of the United Kingdom
Is Britain Europe? Well, everyone has his own answer to this question. But one thing is certain: history of the British Isles is deeply intertwined with the continent. Major parts of Britain were incorporated in the Roman Empire and as from the 500s Anglians and Saxons crossed the North Sea from what is today respectively the South of Denmark and the adjacent West coast of Germany; then came the Vikings, and in 1066 William the Conqueror crossed the Channel, with the Norman-French culture he brought along, changing demographics, politics and everything else in Britain forever. England has always played a role in Europe, as the Kings of France and the Dukes of Burgundy amply found out,... and as the whole planet was reminded during the world wars of the 20th century, which destroyed Europe, putting the continent on the path of a painful and incomplete recovery. Is Britain different? Well, is not every country different? Is not every people different? Britain is the South and the coastal areas along the Channel, Britain is Wales and its Celtic background, Britain is the variety of nature and society of the Midlands, the Lake District, Northumberland, and the area around York, Britain is Scotland, and Britain is London. So, which Britain is different from what? A senseless question, in more than one way. So, let's rather focus on what all those areas are intrinsically, by themselves, let's explore their history, their identity, the things of beauty and genius they have on offer to this world.