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Old January 10th, 2014, 06:00 PM   #9201
alserrod
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In the mileage distances thread there was one picture from northern or Central Morocco pointing Mauriania and somewhere else southern there indeed
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Old January 10th, 2014, 07:29 PM   #9202
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Old January 10th, 2014, 08:31 PM   #9203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
I'm still trying to work out the reality on the ground - did people living close to borders really go through the formal checkpoints (or even the 'tourist' ones) every time, or did they just walk across and be damned with the consequences?
East-Germany had a "Sperrbezirk", an area of 5km from the border where people needed a permit, so even approaching the border was not possible. Did the other countries, like PL and CS have that as well?
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Old January 10th, 2014, 08:47 PM   #9204
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Was that area cleared of population?
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Old January 10th, 2014, 08:54 PM   #9205
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You mean Tanjong Pagar Station right? That is one interesting border crossing, you are located deep inside the Singaporean territory, but before entering the train you must clear both Singaporean and Malaysian immigration So literally you already inside Malaysia as you wait and enters the train in the platform
Yes, that's the one. It's been some time since my trip. I didn't know about Tanjong Pagar, it just said "Singapura" on my train ticket...

The border control didn't work like that the other way, though; when entering Singapore, I got my Malaysian exit mark already in Johor Baharu. (Not a stamp, the officer just wrote the exit date with letters "JB" with red pen... is this typical?)
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Old January 10th, 2014, 09:00 PM   #9206
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Was that area cleared of population?
Mostly no, but only residents had a special permit allowing them to move in and out of the area.
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Old January 10th, 2014, 09:14 PM   #9207
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my hometown Sopron was only accessible with a special permission during commie times as well.
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Old January 10th, 2014, 09:57 PM   #9208
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I thought Eulanthe meant the 1990-2007 period. I don't think there were tourist border crossings in the Warsaw Pact.
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Old January 10th, 2014, 10:18 PM   #9209
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Quote:
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I thought Eulanthe meant the 1990-2007 period. I don't think there were tourist border crossings in the Warsaw Pact.
You would be suprised. That wasn't so hard to travel between the Warsaw Pact countries. My mom for instance, many times were in the Bulgaria with her friends. And she wasn't in the "party".
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Old January 10th, 2014, 10:48 PM   #9210
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Yeah, I forgot about inner borders. Still, Eulanthe said "pre-Schengen", and "CZ" is the Czech Republic; Czechoslovakia was "CS".
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Old January 11th, 2014, 12:09 AM   #9211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palance View Post
East-Germany had a "Sperrbezirk", an area of 5km from the border where people needed a permit, so even approaching the border was not possible. Did the other countries, like PL and CS have that as well?
Wasn't an East German village completely evacuated and destroyed because too close to the border and hard to defend?
Spain also had a forbidden zone along the French border during Franco regime and Finland still has one along the Russian border.
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my hometown Sopron was only accessible with a special permission during commie times as well.
Also Szombathely, at least I read it somewhere when I went there (my cousin lives in Austria just across the border).
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 11th, 2014, 12:36 AM   #9212
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About Spain, two interesting documents I've found:



A document that allows a citizen living besides Irun (border with France) to move to San Sebastian. Civil war was still on and there were many controls about who was travelling and where...





A passport made by the Republican government before that area was occupied by Franco several months before the war was finished.

The person in the passport was born in Figueras quite close to the border (if you arrive by high speed train to Spain, nowadays it is the first call)
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Old January 11th, 2014, 12:51 AM   #9213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
I thought Eulanthe meant the 1990-2007 period. I don't think there were tourist border crossings in the Warsaw Pact.
Exactly that period It's not just the PL/CZ border, but all borders post 1990 - after seeing how unguarded the SLO/HR border was in 2011/2013 (pre EU entry) - and how easy it would be to cross at many points - it made me wonder about the rest of them.

If it interests people about the PL/CZ (CS) border, I know the following -

- There was certainly a border fence at some point, as you can see many traces of it still. I need to find my pictures, but I've found clear evidence of a border fence in both Karvina and in the mountains to the east of the Golinsk crossing. I've also seen pictures of the border clearly being fenced in pre-1990 times in Kudowa, and of course, there were many obstacles to prevent cars crossing the border. I think the fence in Kudowa may well have lasted until 2004/7.

- The border was certainly monitored quite heavily pre-1990. From my research, I've found that it was quite difficult to move around freely in the border areas.

- As far as I know, border passes were required in Poland too.

But - and this is where my question lies - I still can't find out how the border functioned in reality for people living in places like Karvina post 1990. Did locals really bother to go to official checkpoints (especially given that the border in Karvina splits built up areas in half?) when they could just walk across? Likewise in Valga/Valka and many other places.

I tried to answer this question by observing the SLO/HR border over the course of several days. I didn't see one person making an illegal crossing. I have a picture that I need to upload of one particularly strange place where you need to cross illegally from Croatia to Slovenia to go to a restaurant. The restaurant appeared to be closed, sadly...

Last edited by Eulanthe; January 11th, 2014 at 01:00 AM.
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Old January 11th, 2014, 01:18 AM   #9214
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Well, when for instance I went to Germany in 2001, the border crossing in Kołbaskowo was almost like waiting in front of toll gates. I waited like 10 minutes because there was quite big amount of cars also waiting for border cross, but you just had to give your passport to the custom (Polish and German), and then you were free to go The same situation was on border with Czech Republic.
That's completely another history than crossing for example Hungarian- Serbian border. I was going to the Greece, and I waited 3 hours in the night. That was horrible.
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Last edited by arct; January 11th, 2014 at 01:41 AM.
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Old January 11th, 2014, 01:38 AM   #9215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arct View Post
Well, when for instance I went to Germany in 2001, the border crossing in Kołbaskowo was almost like waiting in front of toll gates. I waited like 10 minutes because there was quite big amount of cars also waiting for border cross, but you just had to give your passport to the custom (Polish and German), and then you were free to go The same situation on border with Czech Republic.
The same goes for Romania with Hungary...
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Old January 11th, 2014, 02:06 AM   #9216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
Exactly that period It's not just the PL/CZ border, but all borders post 1990 - after seeing how unguarded the SLO/HR border was in 2011/2013 (pre EU entry) - and how easy it would be to cross at many points - it made me wonder about the rest of them.
Once in 2008 I approached the SLO-HR border on a local gravel road and turned around. Cops popped out of nowhere and went after me.
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Old January 11th, 2014, 10:49 AM   #9217
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Once in 2008 I approached the SLO-HR border on a local gravel road and turned around. Cops popped out of nowhere and went after me.
That's what surprised me about my last visit before Croatia joined the EU - I spent quite a lot of time lurking near the border and yet wasn't questioned once. The only trouble I got was in Bregana - the Slovenians couldn't care less, but the Croatian guard next to the bridge (which is still Croatian territory!) refused to let me go onto the bridge.

A chat with the rather well known now Kalin restaurant owner told me that the whole situation was absurd - locals have passes that allow them to cross the bridge there, but that they were hoping that Slovenia/Croatia would see sense and open the crossing as a pedestrian one.
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Old January 11th, 2014, 11:59 AM   #9218
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Well guys, period of 1990 to 2004 was something like "transition period". Crossing borders out of official border crossing was illegal and you might be arrested by police for that. I remember first visits in Austria or Hungary, the border checks were indeed strict. Very often, border guards checked the technical condition of vehicle, like level of oil. Besides, you had to list all you valuable stuff, like if you had camera, first cell phones, etc.

In 2004 - 2008 situation changed rapidly. The border checks start to be more relaxed, you had been check only by one side sometimes. And very often, in case of domestic drivers (I mean eg. Slovak and Austrians at AT/SK border) they did not even require you to show a passport(s). But I still think it was not legal to cross border anywhere
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Old January 11th, 2014, 12:04 PM   #9219
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The highest metal road border crossing in the world. You travel through the Khunjerab National Park, with chance of sighting the Karakoram Ibex (Markhor) and Marcopolo sheep. At 4,733 meters Khunjerab Pass you are not only on Pak China border but also between the Pamir and Karakoram mountain ranges.
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Old January 11th, 2014, 12:28 PM   #9220
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This scenic spot in the Swiss and Italian Alps is the Margherita hut on the summit of Signalkuppe, a 4,559m-tall (14,954 ft) mountain marking the border between Switzerland and Italy:

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