I read earlier in the year that China are planning to merge nine industrial cities and thus creating a mega city the size of Wales. How often do we hear that cliched comparison? The Walesometer appears to be an unofficial scale of measurement used in media and the travel industry. I am convinced that every country in the world has at some time been compared to the size of old Cymru, even the Prime Ministers salary has been compared to the size of Wales! I wonder how the Davies, Williams and Jones feel about their green and fertile land being used in this manner.
Whenever referred to in this manner everything is always a fraction or a multiple of Wales, so this got me thinking what places are actually the same size of Wales (8,022 Square Miles)? Here are ten places:
Slovenia (7,827 Square Miles)
In a blog post earlier in the year Gary Ardnt mentioned Slovenia as one his biggest surprises in Europe and following my visit a few years ago I have to agree. In one week we visited stunning lakes, drove by ski resorts, drank wine in quaint Venetian seaside towns and as for the capital Ljubljana, truly stunning.
El Salvador (8,124 Square Miles)
El Salvador is almost a forgotten destination in Central America with Costa Rica and Guatemala so richly favoured with fears for safety and civil wars, even though the last war actually ended some twenty years ago. El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America although has a population twice that of Wales (6 million).
Italian Region of Apulia (7,469 Square Miles)
Also known as Puglia this region is the heel of Italy’s boot. Apulia is the flattest region in Italy and with the Mediterranean climate the province of Brindisi is conducive to producing grapes. Brindisi Rosso is the most famous tipple, a dry fruity red wine with a slight bitter aftertaste, delicious.
Lake Ontario (7,520 Square Miles)
Some Mothers Have Electric Ovens, was how I was taught at school to remember the Great Lakes of North America. So Lake Ontario is effectively an Oven! The Lake is the smallest of the great lakes and only a quarter of the size of Lake Superior (Some) and contains the same level of water that rains on Wales every year. I might have made that up.
Bananal Island in Brazil (7,722 Square Miles)
The largest fluvial (look it up) island in the world is situated at a bisection of the Araguaia River in the state of Tocantins. Inhabited only by indigenous tribes there are very few tourists as there are no bridges on to the island, however don’t rule out a Bruce Parry sighting.
Israel (8,522 Square Miles)
Since Israel’s declaration in 1948 this troubled republic has been in the news constantly, despite conflicts visitors still flock to the holy sights such as Jerusalem. In fact in the last few years Israel has received as many tourists as the population as…wait for it…Wales!
Indian State of Mizoram (8,139 Square Miles)
This lesser known state is a member of the ‘Seven Sisters States’ or to you and I the part of India to the right of Bangladesh. While researching this post I discovered the area is know for a land of rolling hills, valleys, rivers and lakes. I continued reading and found the region is influenced by monsoons, raining heavily from May to September. This could be Wales, but do they have sheep?
Clark County, Nevada USA (8,091 Square Miles)
Clark County is most famous for containing the vibrant city of Las Vegas and is actually classified as the Las Vegas Paradise, NV MSA. The official Clark County website displays some interesting statistics, apparently in 2009, $8.8 billion was spent on gambling, there were 148,941 hotel and motel rooms, the average visitor to Las Vegas was 50 years old, stayed 3.6 nights, gambled away $481.57 for an average 3.2 hours per day.
Area of Forests on the Solomon Islands (8,098 Square Miles)
You often hear about forests the size of Wales disappearing every year around the globe, so we’ll finish this post with some positives for the precious forest. The Solomon Islands are collection of over 1,000 islands situated to the east of Papua New Guinea covering a total land mass of 10,956 square miles, so for the mathematically astute that’s 75% covered by forest. There is no surprise that the islands rain forests are rich in bird species not found anywhere else on the planet, a twitchers paradise.
Area of Tropical Rainforest the Welsh Population are aiming to protect (8,022 Square Miles)
The Size of Wales campaign is fully aware of the Walesometer and using it as a positive. Launched a few years ago the campaign aims to protect an area of African tropical rain forests the size of Wales by asking the Welsh population to dig deep and donate. For £2.50 I blannu coeden cnau cashew yn Kenya. Not fluent in Welsh tongue then click on the link to find out www.sizeofwales.org.uk.
If you are from Wales, how do you feel about your nation being used as a unit of measurement?
For the rest of the world what countries have you heard being used in this way?
Please get involved, we look forward to reading your comments.