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Old August 4th, 2011, 11:49 AM   #4861
alserrod
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Spanish network of roads work as following since near two centuries:
Roads N-I to N-VI (written with Roman numbers) goes from Madrid to exterior. The rest of roads have three digits and depend where they "start" to have the first digit (even if it is a more than 500 km road or motorway).

In one post I put some pictures of the border between Els Limits and Le Perthus... where in a street you are driving in France but if you park and you take out of the car in the right side... you are crossing again the border.
That is the end of N-II.


In the case of N-I, which goes from Madrid to north and finish in the border to France besides the Atlantic, this is the end of the road

http://maps.google.es/?ll=43.344012,...51.83,,0,14.62

It is the Bidasoa river (about 7 km away of the post I wrote yesterday). There aren't borders cabins... even country signals. They indicate only the name of the town in both directions.
Border is in the half of the river.
But... you can see that not only the asphalt is different... but side line are different too!!!! white in Spain and yellow in France.

There are three international bridges (and the railways ones). One as a continuation of a road, besides the railway, this is the second one. Both of them has no border cabins. The third one is the toll motorway bridge and still has cabins. They have no use but hasn't dissapeared. Anyway, just some meters ahead you should have to stop again because first toll cabins, so they do not disturb to traffic too much.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 12:11 PM   #4862
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A few meters East, E/F border on E05/E70/E80: http://maps.google.es/maps?ll=43.339...,14.31,,0,9.42
On the other side of the Pyrenees, the other motorway border crossing is on E15: http://maps.google.es/maps?ll=42.464...,34.25,,1,6.36
And two more crossings: E07 Somport tunnel and E09.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 04:44 PM   #4863
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France-Swiss border, Le Chatelard-Frontiere
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Old August 4th, 2011, 10:37 PM   #4864
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An old photo (I think somewhere around 1950) of the border Belgium - Holland at Sint-Anna-Ter-Muiden, nearby Sluis:
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Old August 4th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #4865
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Which were the first countries in having no control at borders? Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg?
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Old August 4th, 2011, 11:49 PM   #4866
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
Which were the first countries in having no control at borders? Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg?
No, they always had border controls until Schengen came in force. I think they all started at the same time.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 11:57 PM   #4867
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No, they always had border controls until Schengen came in force. I think they all started at the same time.
The first intra-European border I crossed was going from France to Luxembourg, by train, in 1985. Since when I'd landed in France I'd gotten my passport stamped, and France had also (I think) stamped my passport on the train out of France, I was expecting to get an entry stamp for Luxembourg. So I got out of the train at Luxembourg station, found a conductor on the platform and said, no one stamped my passport. He looked at me for a second and said, "that doesn't exist here." (Didn't matter to me as long as I didn't have trouble leaving Luxembourg.

Also, the Luxembourg franc was worth the same as the Belgian one. But I tried to spend a Luxembourg 100-franc note in Brussels and it wasn't valid there.

I believe there was a Belgian-Luxembourg customs union as early as 1922 - a few decades before the Benelux. No idea whether that meant there were no border controls between them.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:02 AM   #4868
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Yes, at that time you were able to spend your Belgian Francs in Luxembourg as they had exactly the same value. In Belgium a lot of shops would have accepted your Lux Francs, but some may have been unaware of them. Same in the UK these days, they accept your English Pounds anywhere in Scotland, and generally they have to accept your Scottish Pounds in England as well, but not all shopkeepers are the same.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:09 AM   #4869
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
Yes, at that time you were able to spend your Belgian Francs in Luxembourg as they had exactly the same value. In Belgium a lot of shops would have accepted your Lux Francs, but some may have been unaware of them. Same in the UK these days, they accept your English Pounds anywhere in Scotland, and generally they have to accept your Scottish Pounds in England as well, but not all shopkeepers are the same.
Same goes for NI pounds but many people in England are unaware of Scottish and NI Pounds and therefore do not know what to do with them.

Benelux ended controls between each other in 1948 apparently
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:16 AM   #4870
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Perhaps but unlikely. They still do random border checks between Netherlands and Belgium, and Belgium and Luxembourg to combat drug trafficking. And in Luxembourg they still have cheap cigarettes and fuel, which can be smuggled into the Netherlands. Even in Schengen today you will always find French customs on the border on your way out towards Metz, randomly checking vehicles (and myself at times. Being aware what cigarettes costs in the UK - 9 Euros a packet-, they are red hot on English number plates.)
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:27 AM   #4871
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Japan also has its border crossings: Entering the country at Narita Airport


Last edited by Corvinus; August 5th, 2011 at 12:28 AM. Reason: Image link fixed
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:44 AM   #4872
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:53 AM   #4873
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Interesting! I hear that 50km down the road there are more Mexican checks which you need a permit for your car
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Old August 5th, 2011, 01:02 AM   #4874
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpunk View Post


Why right lane is faster than other ones?


I've seen a Stop signal bilingual "Stop - Alto".
Until today only I had seen it at Cuba.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 01:31 AM   #4875
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
No, they always had border controls until Schengen came in force. I think they all started at the same time.

In 1990 I had a flight Barcelona-Brussels.
Due to an airport strike, I had to land very late in Amsterdam and the company prepared buses to shuttle passengers to Brussels.

I was a teenager and it was my first time in the centre of Europe. I wanted to see the border. I had the passport prepared and... I arrived to Brussels airport with no custom control. I was looking sometimes motorway signals but... all of them were in Dutch so I didn't notice at all the border.

My final destination was in Holland (Brussels airport was closed to there than Amsterdam one). Some friends were waiting for me and it was late night. I entered in the car and went their home. It was the second time I crossed the Belgium-Holland borders in the same night.

Three weeks later I came back... and I didn't notice again when I crossed the border...


About airports, I made exit from Brussels and Barcelona and arriving to Barcelona and Amsterdam.
I remember that they asked always the passport, but only for some secons. I do not know if for checking that the photo was OK (so then I had correct documentation), to have a look to the name...

When arriving back to Barcelona airport, there were two different of cabins for passport control, depending if UE citizens or external. There was control for all of them but the queue for external went slowly than inside UE citizens.

(and Spain was only in UE for four years ago...)


In my case, I showed my passport as the rest of the people. Policeman didn't look it... they watched it was Spanish and I think they were no interested in controlling Spanish teenagers coming home.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
I believe there was a Belgian-Luxembourg customs union as early as 1922 - a few decades before the Benelux. No idea whether that meant there were no border controls between them.

My father was used to do bussiness journeys inside Europe in the 80s. He had his passport full of stamps from Madrid or Barcelona (event enter or exit) airports but not anyone more (even when not part of UE). He had to ask frequently a new passport because need new pages for stamps.

In 1993 I tried to have some stamps. I went by road to Austria and had to ask for them. It was not part of UE, all passports were checked but nothing special on the border. When returning, I asked a police for a stamp.

Two years later, taking a ferry from England to France I didn't get a stamp, event in France, neither England. Both of them just said they didn't stamp...

My passport expired and asked for a new one. I only got a stamp. It was at Tunisia. I was a stopover in that country just for part of a day.
They said we will need a visa to enter but really they wanted to control only that anyone who enter... anyone who exit. I had to take a form written in Arabic, English and French, put my data and the police, inside the ship, stamped it checking the data was the same than in my passport, and they stamped my passport.
When taking out the ship I had to give half of the form to a police and the other half when taking on again (so then... if no forms are missing, everybody is inside).


That stamp in Arabic was the only I had in my passport before it expired. I went to several countries, even outside UE (Croatia), but no more stamps.

I showed the passport to a Moroccan friend and... he couldn't guess the town I had arrived with that passport.
Why?. He, obviously translated me the rest of the stamp (August, customs, police, harbour...) but he was used to say that city always in French and write in French... Maybe it was the first time in several years he read in Arabic, even if it was his mother language.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 01:33 AM   #4876
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
Interesting! I hear that 50km down the road there are more Mexican checks which you need a permit for your car


or just having a look to your passport and your car

Ciudad Juarez can be the city in the world with more crimes.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 07:10 AM   #4877
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
Perhaps but unlikely. They still do random border checks between Netherlands and Belgium, and Belgium and Luxembourg to combat drug trafficking. And in Luxembourg they still have cheap cigarettes and fuel, which can be smuggled into the Netherlands.
What do you mean by smuggling? They are intra-EU borders and you are allowed to carry virtually any amount of cigarettes and fuel for your own use.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 08:18 AM   #4878
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Quote:
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What do you mean by smuggling? They are intra-EU borders and you are allowed to carry virtually any amount of cigarettes and fuel for your own use.
No, not on cigarettes and fuel. Customs guidelines in most countries are still 800 cigarettes. In Germany one 20 litre jerrycan of fuel may be taken with you. Believe me, German and French customs are still on to you if they have sufficient reason to believe you purchase cigarettes and fuel for re-sale. I did get fined a few times by the French and Germans for having more then the legal limit. British guidelines are 1600 cigarettes. Alcohol is also restricted.

From www.zoll.de:
Please, do not forget that there are prohibitions and restrictions to be considered even for taking goods within the European Community.
By controlling the above mentioned import and export prohibitions, Customs contributes to the protection of consumer and environment.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 08:26 AM   #4879
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
Interesting! I hear that 50km down the road there are more Mexican checks which you need a permit for your car
Mexico has what is called a 'Border Zone' along its border with the USA (it includes all of the Baja Peninsula) where entry from the USA is pretty fast and easy, often with no checks at all, while their *real* intensive inspection is inland. The USA does not have a counterpart and our real inspections are at the border checkpoints. That said, it is not unusual for the USA customs guys to set up inspection areas farther inland as well, mainly looking for illegal aliens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
Why right lane is faster than other ones?


I've seen a Stop signal bilingual "Stop - Alto".
Until today only I had seen it at Cuba.
The right lane is a frequent-crosser commuter express lane and in that clip, it is explained that permits for its use cost a couple of hundred dollars per year.

Yes, 'STOP' signs in Mexico say 'ALTO'.

Mike
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Old August 5th, 2011, 09:25 AM   #4880
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Yes, visitors who wish to drive beyond the Baja California Peninsula or the Border Zone (extending 25 km into Mexico) must carry a temporary import permit for their vehicles.
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