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Old January 24th, 2012, 06:15 PM   #5641
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Sremska Rača (SRB) - Bosanska Rača (BIH)
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Old January 24th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #5642
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Quote:
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Kúty, mid 90s. We travelled in a group, by a coach. Czech custom officer came, counted us (43 people), counted the mineral waters in the pack box and said we had two much mineral waters, only one liter per capita (or something similar) is allowed and took two or three glasses. (Actually I think he took it for himself...).
Not typically what I could call a "not bad" type of custom control :-)
OMG! I can understand alchool, tobacco, electronics, etc... but mineral water? I think you met a stupid and bored policemen that didn't find a better way to enjoy himself than show his power to annoy travellers or made the idea that border check were serious.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 08:16 PM   #5643
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It was really big fun to cross a border within countries behind the iron curtain.
Let's say Polish-Czechoslovakian in eighties. I remember it very well when Polish customs were just about to arrest my parents, because my sister (5 year old back then) carried cute, black-skin doll, bought in CSRS. It was not allowed to bring anything over certain quantity from there to Poland, even bloody toys.

Well, Czechoslovakia apart from being well known as a tourist destination for Poles, had another, maybe more important advantage - their shops were supplied as shops should be. Poland - empty shelves. CSRS - you could get anything money could buy. Paradise! As long as you didn't care too much about waiting several hours on the Cesky Tesin - Cieszyn border and then didn't mind to be "interviewed" by both, Polish and Czechoslovak customs. Interviews sometimes ended up with a car completely unscrewed to the last bolt.
Those were the days
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Old January 24th, 2012, 08:37 PM   #5644
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How were the other 'inner-iron-curtain' crossings those times? Unfortunately I have never crossed one of them, my most interesting border in that time was between East and West Germany.

And my most interesting crossing in the last few years was UAE-Oman.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 08:45 PM   #5645
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I've read on SSC about someone who had problems at the RO-MD border because he had some oregano in his suitcase and they though that was ganja or something.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 09:24 PM   #5646
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Mexico-USA ferry

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Old January 24th, 2012, 09:48 PM   #5647
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Originally Posted by Palance View Post
How were the other 'inner-iron-curtain' crossings those times? Unfortunately I have never crossed one of them, my most interesting border in that time was between East and West Germany.

And my most interesting crossing in the last few years was UAE-Oman.
I once went by coach from Glasgow to Bucharest and back during the 80's to watch a football match. We had to get a transit visa for Hungary and a visitors visa for Romania. I can't remember where the crossing points were but I think the HU-RO crossing was near Arad or Oradea. Crossing from Austria to Hungary was fairly easy but crossing from Hungary to Romania was a nightmare.

Everyone on the coach had to get off at this border post (it was no bigger than a garden shed) and it must have been miles from the nearest village/town/city. It was desolate. There were armed soldiers/border guards everywhere. The coach was searched from top to bottom and we all got our bags searched as well as being 'patted down'. Once we got back on the road again it became apparent that the border guards had helped themselves to whatever took their fancy during the search. Iirc it took nealy 4 hours. No-one else crossed the border during that time either.

I've been to the US since 9/11 and the security still wasn't as stringent as getting into Romaina.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 09:49 PM   #5648
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palance View Post
How were the other 'inner-iron-curtain' crossings those times? Unfortunately I have never crossed one of them, my most interesting border in that time was between East and West Germany.

And my most interesting crossing in the last few years was UAE-Oman.
I will answer partly by writing you some experiences, although not only through the iron curtain.

1) D / DDR crossing Helmstedt/Marienburg 1988 to 1990 - this was the most guarded border. Some people trying to escape could end up in ... mines, & my parents have got once their car half unbolted (even the steering wheel). My father got angry enough to give orders to the DDR custom guy to put his car back together again, which he refused. Luckily, the superior of this guy told him to od so afterwards.
This border crossing went softer & softer during its last 2 years.
P.S.: There was always the same young & pretty DDR custom blonde woman who checked us

2) ET/IL crossing in Taba/Eilat 1994 - First of all, the big contrast between the dirty asphalt in Egypt & the clean one in Israel. Second: they checked everything, which reminded me of nowadays' airport crossings. It took aroud 1h30 entering Israel, 30 minutes back to Egypt.

3) PL/UA crossing in Zosin / Ustyluh 2005. I spent 8 hours to enter Ukraine, 2 hours to go back to Poland. But I've already told this story on SSC.

4) PL/D crossing in Świecko / Frankfurt an der Oder
4-1) 1990 - German customs checking EVERY French car entering from Poland ! Including ours
4-2) 1999 - A Polish customs guy making complements to my non-Polish mother
4-3) 2006 - with a 3 month baby, I chose - instead of crossing in Słubice as I always did before Schenge - to cross in Świecko. Big mistake - an enormous traffic jam (like 1h00 waiting). The baby was crying for around 10 minutes, so I decided to go ahead. Then a German customs guy insulted me. I shouted at him "Ich habe ein Kind" (I'm carrying a child), to which he answered: "Das ist mir Scheiße egal" (I don't give a f**k), after what I went to see his superior who calmed him down in front of me & let me go

5) Pas de la Casa, AND, 2001 - entering from France felt like ... entering Disneyland ! Btw, I wanted so much to refuel only when in Andorran territory that my ex's car arrived at the petrol station ... coughing !

6) La Jonquera (E) / (F), 2001 - Entering France was a big surprise: hotels were cheaper on the French side than on the Spanish side ! That was before €uro was implemented ...

7) Harrachov (CS at the time, now CZ) / Jakuszyce (PL) - While my parents waited patiently in the car at the border crossing, I went to the Polish side & I was rolling myself in the snow It was the first time in my life I saw more than 1cm snow ! There was around 50cm to 1m00
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Been Drove Rode my bike Lived:
A AND AUS B BIH BY CZ D E EST ET F FIN GB H HR I IL L LT LV MAL MC PL RI SGP SK SLO T TN USA UA YV

"Richtgeschwindigkeit" should be the default system in all EU motorways & expressways & lane indiscipline should be harshly fought! Down with radars on motorways!

Last edited by GROBIN; January 24th, 2012 at 09:56 PM.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 10:03 PM   #5649
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palance View Post
How were the other 'inner-iron-curtain' crossings those times? Unfortunately I have never crossed one of them, my most interesting border in that time was between East and West Germany.

And my most interesting crossing in the last few years was UAE-Oman.
I didn't experienced many back then. It wasn't that easy to go abroad as it is today. By the fall of communism, except of CSRS I have visited Hungary only. However, my parents crossed CCCP and DDR border several times and father alone even went out of iron curtain, to Austria. What they recollect is detailed checking by malicious customs officials and many hours long queues.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #5650
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At the end of the year, a new border crossing will open between Hungary and Serbia: Ásotthalom - Bački Vinogradi
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Old January 24th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #5651
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Any H/HR & H/SRB border crossings only for pedestrians & cyclists ?
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A AND AUS B BIH BY CZ D E EST ET F FIN GB H HR I IL L LT LV MAL MC PL RI SGP SK SLO T TN USA UA YV

"Richtgeschwindigkeit" should be the default system in all EU motorways & expressways & lane indiscipline should be harshly fought! Down with radars on motorways!
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Old January 24th, 2012, 11:19 PM   #5652
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Any H/HR & H/SRB border crossings only for pedestrians & cyclists ?
afaik no.

i must say that i experienced passing the border in communist times - we traveled to Hungary to Balaton in 1988. i remember empty border crossing, military control, and double ramps (first one about 100 metres before border itself, and secon on the border).
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Old January 24th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #5653
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I remember when i was crossing AT/SK border in Bratislava in the end of 1990s, when I was a child. We were waiting in queue, and then, suddenly we heard a loud noise! We thought that they were shooting to someone, but it turned out, that it burst my ballon, which I got in McDonald's
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Old January 24th, 2012, 11:50 PM   #5654
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afaik no.

i must say that i experienced passing the border in communist times - we traveled to Hungary to Balaton in 1988. i remember empty border crossing, military control, and double ramps (first one about 100 metres before border itself, and secon on the border).
Well, the grandpa of a Polish friend of mine told me very interesting stories from the Stalin times. Like: he was in CS with a friend & wanted to go to the bathroom, but they were both in a forrest so the friend walked away a bit.

After around 10 minutes without news from his friend, he went on the same direction & ... got caught by the H customs.

They were about to be on trial with spying charges. But when they explained they didn't know they were on a borderland (no ramp or barrier at the time) & wanted to urinate, the atmosphere finally loosened. The Hungarian customs guys said they were really sorry, but they were afraid because of Stalin ...

Anyway - x-type - I asked you about the cycling border because I may be going to Croatia this summer & I was wondering if I'll go through the Hungarian Balaton or cross, for intance, in the SLO/HR border restaurant in Obrežje you mentioned before with Verso ...
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A AND AUS B BIH BY CZ D E EST ET F FIN GB H HR I IL L LT LV MAL MC PL RI SGP SK SLO T TN USA UA YV

"Richtgeschwindigkeit" should be the default system in all EU motorways & expressways & lane indiscipline should be harshly fought! Down with radars on motorways!
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Old January 24th, 2012, 11:54 PM   #5655
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well you can cross it on bike on regular border crossings. except on motorways. perhaps GOla/Berzence if you're going to Balaton.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 08:55 AM   #5656
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Czech Republic - Poland

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Old January 25th, 2012, 07:01 PM   #5657
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Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
There was a barrier in the form of a chain here from 1974 to 1990, apparently the chain was put up because the Portuguese government was worried about an invasion from a still Francoist Spain (although I don't think that it would stop an invasion )


Official name in Spain is "Rihonor de Castilla" and as far as it is not a municipality you will see it written followed by the name of the municipality it takes part of it: Pedralba (province of Zamora, Region of Castilla y León).

The history about the chain I read something about it.

Until Schengen treaty in fact, every citizen should have to show the passport to cross from one side to the other one of those villages.
Policemen knew to all citizens of both countries and never asked for passport. It was very frequent to have your house in one country and lands to work in the other one.

When Portuguese revolution, it was the Portuguese police which "fenced" that border thinking in a possible invasion from Spain (which had a dictator in the government). It was the only border "fenced" between Portugal and Spain.

And it was not totally fenced. They only cut the road to avoid cars crossing it, but for country vehicles was possible to cross the border by a little river (impossible for cars or trucks but no problem for country vehicles).

The fence was there for several years. Spain got a new government, democracy, elections... but no one asked for it until it was finnally erased.


Today... we can consider as a very small village with a border in the middle.
Bars are in the Portuguese zone and Shops are in the Spanish zone.
Main "discussions" for senior citizen could be which government increases more the payment for retired people...



A photo of both villages.

Can anyone try to guess where the border is?

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Old January 25th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #5658
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GROBIN View Post
Another border that feels like that: Mouscron (B)/ Wattrelos (F). I remember crossing there once & having the suprise that the houses looked similar but the roadsigns suddenly turned from capital letters into small letters on blue roadsigns

&, of course, Hendaye (F)/Irún (E)


In the case of Hendaye and Irún there is a lot of things to do.

Of course there is free movement.
When border existed, customs on main road where both of them in Spanish territory and in the motorway where in French territory (and do not know about another local street).

There are too many great towns in the area. In a Spanish thread about railway one forumer made some calculs about population around the Cantabric sea and received the answers that he could consider some areas in the west he considered as far as consider the area until Bayonne.

Hendaye is 16000 people and Irun is 61000 people...

One thing I do not like about mobility, for instance is that both cities have international stations but... only for "long distance trains". This is... any Spanish train will arrive to Hendaye with passengers and will return to Irun empty... and will depart with passengers but from Irun.
Upside down, a French train will arrive to Irun, return to Hendaye empty and depart from there.

But regional trains and commuter trains do not cross the border which do not help mobility (only 1 km between stations)

There is only one exception... a commuter train of a different gauge that departs from San Sebastian and last station is at Hendaye (a very small station close to SNCF station).


Irun is special city. Apart of the situation of border... it is the second largest city in its province after the capital. 61000 hab.

Province airport is located at Irun, not at San Sebastian.
Well... we could say it is located in the same border.
Have a look
http://maps.google.es/maps?q=irun&hl...Vasco&t=h&z=15

The football team of Irun today is in the Spanish third division... but .. they can say that they were one out of the ten teams that started the Spanish league in 1928 (four teams from Basque country where Irun was one of them one from Cantabria, two from Madrid, three from Catalonia made the first league)

Stadium is also in the border....


http://maps.google.es/maps?q=irun&hl...Vasco&t=h&z=16


http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primera...C3%B1a_1928/29
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Old January 25th, 2012, 10:29 PM   #5659
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One thing I do not like about mobility, for instance is that both cities have international stations but... only for "long distance trains". This is... any Spanish train will arrive to Hendaye with passengers and will return to Irun empty... and will depart with passengers but from Irun.
Upside down, a French train will arrive to Irun, return to Hendaye empty and depart from there.

But regional trains and commuter trains do not cross the border which do not help mobility (only 1 km between stations)
It's a relic of the past, and the same thing happens in Cerbčre (F) and Port Bou (E). It was like that so to allow border checks: passenger of a train coming from Spain were then checked in the French custom, viceversa passengers from France were controlled on Spanish territory.

And despite Schengen agreements this arrangement continues, even if today it makes no sense at all.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 11:48 PM   #5660
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italystf
I've read on SSC about someone who had problems at the RO-MD border because he had some oregano in his suitcase and they though that was ganja or something.
Not on the topic, but I had my marjoram (majeranek/Majoran) drug-tested by a dumb-looking customs oficer in Montreal, so those aren't urban legends. Bonjour Quebec!
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