En réponse à Javier BF :

>Spain can be a serious competitor to France as for variety
>of climates and landscapes in Europe, ;-).

I agree.

>  We have from
>Western-movie deserts in Almería, rainy green areas with
>moderate temperatures year-round along the northern coast,
>bleak moors with continental climate in the central plateau,
>ski resorts on the many mountain ridges, foggy cold winters
>in Valladolid, scorching dry summers in Madrid, steamy
>summers in Barcelona, both cool and warm beaches, even
>tropical climate and volcanic lunar landscapes in the
>Canary Islands.

If we go that far, I can include Guyane, Reunion (a volcanic island IIRC), 
St-Pierre et Miquelon, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and the French Polynesia. If 
you add them, France has all climates and landscapes available in the world 
(including a piece of Amazonia ;))) ). And they are French departments (not 
sure about Polynesia though). There are still the territories to boot (like 
New Caledonia) with a higher level of independence but still a link to France.

>  And within areas with a similar climate
>and landscape, such as the northern green belt, you can
>still enjoy the richness of the many different languages
>and cultural identities that make up this very heterogeneous

This is something the linguistically centralist France misses indeed :(( . 
Although if you look, Basque, Breton, Occitan, Corsican and others are 
still present :)) .

>Yet, Spaniards are consummate international travelers
>nowadays (apart from restless national travelers), within
>Europe at least. I haven't been to anywhere in this continent
>where I didn't find loads of fellow countrymen, only the
>ubiquitous Japanese tourists seem to be more abundant.

What about the Dutch? They seem always to find their way everywhere ;))) .

>Spain can also compete with that given our strategical
>position at the junction between Africa and Europe and
>between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. No wonder
>our history has been one of a crossroads of peoples
>and cultures. ;-)

Yep, but we still beat you with three Emperors (okay, the last one didn't 
have much of a territory) and don't forget Avignon has been Papal capital 
for quite a while ;)))) .

Christophe Grandsire.

You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.