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Spanish at Heart?

Spain is my kind of place.

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Spain is my kind of place. Overall, the mood is very laid back, with little of the constant stress that seems to characterize life here in the States. Moreover, despite being longitudinally in-line with the United Kingdom, the country operates on Western European time along with Italy, Germany and other countries farther to the east. As a result, the sun doesn’t set until nearly 10 p.m. in the summertime—and from what I saw, most people are still pretty active at that point. Lunch, the biggest meal of the day, isn’t eaten until late afternoon. You’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant open for dinner before 9 p.m. or so.

This is a routine to which I could easily become accustomed. Perhaps I lived there in another life or was supposed to have been born there in the first place were it not for some devious trick of fate. While I got to enjoy it for only two whirlwind days, this lifestyle served as the ideal backdrop against which to conduct the primary purpose of my trip—visiting the 26th edition of the biennial BIEMH manufacturing technology trade show in Bilbao, a city in the Basque country along the northern coast.

Despite persistent economic difficulties, the show is being billed as a success, having attracted more than 1,000 exhibitors and 35,000 attendees from all over the world. Click here for a brief wrap-up detailing the state of the Spanish machine tool industry and some of the technology developments I saw there.