You'd think this would be easy wouldn't you?
But there are new ones popping up all the time - all the "new" countries from the former Soviet Union. Old ones disappearing - I never made it to East Germany, and collecting a country beginning with a "Y" is now rather tricky! (but not impossible!)
There are countries that some other countries don't recognise - let's not even start on that subject.
Countries that have a number of other countries inside them! Wales? Scotland? Jersey? Isle of Man? Isle of Wight!
The truly weird ones - The United Nations is a country. If you walk into the UN building in Geneva, you've left Switzerland.
Countries with no borders? look at a map of Saudi Arabia and Yemen - okay, there is a border at the coast - but head into the desert - and it gets a bit hazy!
A country could be defined (at least in my world) by one of the following
How many countries are there? Depends on what you count as a country! - there are at least 190 out there to visit!
Countries come in all shapes and sizes, from the biggest - Russia 17million sq. Km to the smallest Vatican City 0.5 sq. Km! Just get out there and visit a few!
There is no country that begins with the letter "X", this makes my goal of visiting a country of each letter of the (English) alphabet a bit tricky - BUT the Chinese name for Tibet is 'Xizang Zizhiqu'. Now I'm not condoning China's annexing of Tibet, but it does give me a very good reason to visit Tibet.
There has been some discussion about whether some of the countries that I count are really countries, and that the list of UN countries is the one that should be used. In that case I've visited
countries. However I have a problem with this. It lumps a lot of places together, the Isle of Man is NOT part of the United Kingdom, but it does not appear in the UN list, and here's another one for you. Switzerland only became a full member of the UN in 2002. So does that mean that when I visited it in 1996 I couldn't count it? I think not!