Ilivetolearn's Blog

February 3, 2006

always second best

Filed under: on the road,Spain — ilivetolearn @ 12:12 pm

When we first got here we learned that Spain is the second highest and second driest country in Europe. Only Switzerland is more mountainous, and we’re guessing Greece is drier. Greece is also the only country in Europe with more smokers, though sales of cigarettes are down here recently; with the new prohibitions, more people are trying to quit.

In the tourism sector, Spain is the second-most popular destination (after France) and the country with the second-highest tourist expenditures (after the US). With the opening this week of the much-ballyhooed Terminal 4, Barajas airport will be the second-busiest in the world, after O’Hare. Our own in-country tourism jaunts have taken us past so many huge windmill installations that I did a some research on wind energy and found—guess what—Spain is second only to Germany, worldwide, in generation and use of wind power. In 2004 6% of its electricity demands were met by wind. I’m sure when the 2005 figures come out they will be even more impressive.

We’re so used Spain being #2 in various sectors that today’s news article on clients of Internet matchmaking sites contained no surprises; it was a forgone conclusion that Spaniards are second—after the French–in trying to find love online. A small purely Spanish twist is that February 13th has been declared “Dia del Soltero” (the day of the single person), perhaps in defense against all the couple-ness of Valentine’s Day.

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