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Old January 4th, 2015, 06:51 PM   #12041
makaveli6
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Augstkalne [LV] - Žagare [LT]

1. Approaching the border from Latvian side on the unpaved P95



2. The border signs



3.


4.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 06:55 PM   #12042
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Is Andorra-Spain cross-border traffic much more scrutinized than Andorra-France traffic?
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Old January 4th, 2015, 08:10 PM   #12043
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Yes it is.

Just entering in Spain you have a main town with 12.500 and a tourist area (well... or a city 'cos La Seu d'Urgell has a cathedral. It is, indeed, the cathedral for Andorra).
Entering in France you are in the middle of nowhere in the Pyrenees.

Furthermore, the natural valley from Andorra goes south whilst mandatory to cross the highest mountain pass (either pass, either tolled tunnel) to go via France.


Before Euro I remember all prices in Pesetas in Andorra la vella even if you where entitled to pay in Francs too.


I've glanced and... 14725 vehicles/day is the number of cars/trucks/anything that use the 10 km road La Seu-Border with Andorra
I do not know in France... but seems an important number

http://www.fomento.gob.es/NR/rdonlyr...nsidad2013.pdf
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Old January 4th, 2015, 08:19 PM   #12044
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Is Andorra-Spain cross-border traffic much more scrutinized than Andorra-France traffic?
Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
Yes it is.
Why is that?
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Old January 4th, 2015, 08:41 PM   #12045
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For instance, supossing you want to visit Andorra it would be easier to you to choose Barcelona airport rather than Toulouse airport. Both are in a similar distance but it takes faster from Barcelona by car and it has more flights.
If you require another airport, Madrid is quite nearer rather than Paris
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Old January 4th, 2015, 08:45 PM   #12046
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More "scrutinized" means checked more carefully. I think Suburbanist is asking whether people crossing from Andorra into Spain - regardless of how many more of them there are - are more closely checked at the border than people crossing from Andorra into France.

And if that's what he's asking, and if that is indeed the case, I'm wondering why that is.

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Old January 4th, 2015, 09:46 PM   #12047
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Two reasons.

One is that the Spanish take the external EU borders seriously - for all the complaining that Gibraltar has done, it's nothing compared to the systematic and comprehensive checks made on the Andorran border. The French on the other hand are notorious for not even bothering to stamp passports in CDG, they rarely bother to control the Monaco border, and they've even dismantled most of the border infrastructure on the Swiss border despite it still being a Customs border.

Two, it's simply because of the tax differences. Spain cares much more than France about the revenue lost by smuggling. Theoretically, the French should also care, but they seem to be content with random checks. If you compare the infrastructure on the French and Spanish sides, you can see that the French have a completely different mentality.

As far as I see it, the Spanish are doing the right thing - it's an external EU and Schengen border, and should be treated as such. However, the Spanish identity controls are still severely lacking compared to the standards on the Eastern EU border.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 09:48 PM   #12048
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Ah. I don't really think of Andorra as outside the E.U. I mean, I know it's not part of it, but it's surrounded by it....
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Old January 4th, 2015, 09:54 PM   #12049
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I crossed the border out of Andorra 6 times, 3 entering France, 3 entering Spain. That happened with Italian or Dutch plated cars.

The Spanish stopped me/us and checked documents, trunk, asked if we were carrying tobacco and alcohol, and in one occasion wanted to check our bags and were asking if we were bringing hunting equipment after seeing winter/mountain clothes and heavy boots we'd bought there.

The French just waved us through.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 10:14 PM   #12050
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OK, I get it. I really do not know.

But nowadays it is known that entering into Spain, police is more worried in money due to corruption rather than in goods.

If so, you are entitled to carry up to 9000 euro duty free. If you have one more euro you can be hardly punished and... police is taking these people. I do not know how... they can be experts in the border, just thinking who's on a fraud, maybe they are in the bank gates or so... because Andorra has a specific law for bank secret
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Old January 4th, 2015, 10:17 PM   #12051
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Quote:
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The French just waved us through.

French make random checks.
If you get anything for smuggling and enter into Spain you may drive 10 km after the border until first city and can leave goods there and return again.
If you do the same operation into France... it is quite different.

Therefore, it worths to have a van and be the whole day smuggling into Spain but nothing so much into France.

So then, after French customs, if you haven't declared anything, you can be stopped by French police anywhere in the road randomly instead of stopping to all cars.


I guess that in Spanish customs they only asked you to open one baggage. It is the normal procedure.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 10:57 PM   #12052
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Quote:
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Ah. I don't really think of Andorra as outside the E.U. I mean, I know it's not part of it, but it's surrounded by it....
Switzerland was in an identical situation until November 2008. To be honest, I'm really not sure why Andorra remains outside Schengen - there's no real reason for them to stay outside, especially as Schengen doesn't stop them imposing their own residency requirements and so on.

As an aside, a good question is why Gibraltar remains outside Schengen.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 01:20 AM   #12053
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Is it easier to smuggle from Andorra to Spain through France, as opposed to directly crossing the border? Or there is an impediment (in form of poor roads around Andorra etc.)?
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Old January 5th, 2015, 01:27 AM   #12054
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Quote:
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Is it easier to smuggle from Andorra to Spain through France, as opposed to directly crossing the border? Or there is an impediment (in form of poor roads around Andorra etc.)?
Not really, you could easily cross Andorra => France => Spain. On the route to Barcelona that means a mere extra 15km in good roads.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 01:53 AM   #12055
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makaveli6 View Post
It's the first time that I see the dirt road symbol (with a specific speed limit) included in the general speed limit border sign.
Most European countries don't have a specific speed limit for dirt roads, as in most of Europe, with the notable exception of the Baltics, dirt roads are used only for agricultural purposes and to reach some isolated country houses, and not to link towns.
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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 5th, 2015, 01:57 AM   #12056
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Yes you can. Supossing your destination is Barcelona, from Ordino (and Pas de la casa of course) it will be faster via France than directly Spain.
By the way you will cross three tolled tunnels, one in each country (depending of Barcelona final destination they will be four indeed).

And there is no control from France to Spain.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 10:05 AM   #12057
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Quote:
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Most European countries don't have a specific speed limit for dirt roads, as in most of Europe, with the notable exception of the Baltics, dirt roads are used only for agricultural purposes and to reach some isolated country houses, and not to link towns.
In Finland, quite a big fraction of the public lower-class roads are dirt roads. That seems to create some conceptual issues. For example, the TomTom devices rather often deliver ridiculous route proposals while trying to avoid those roads. The default driving speed on a gravel road according to TomTom is 10 km/h while the correct assumption in most cases could be 60-70 km/h. TomTom does not see this as bug but as a feature.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 01:03 PM   #12058
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Crossing the Easternmost Spain-France border, in N-260/D914:



There are not many seaside border crossings over a mountain pass out there

You can see an old border post at 0:59 and the derelict customs at 1:10.

The towns at either end of the border have two huge railway stations that allow both Iberian- and standard-gauge trains. Despite the main road border crossing having been N-II/N9 since Roman times, the 19th-century railway followed the coastal route.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 01:55 PM   #12059
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It is a mountain pass indeed!!!!. Pyrenees go coast-to-coast. Therefore, any pass over sides of rivers who go north or south (usually the border but not always) are mountain passes.

Obviously, a quite small one... but if you compare with its "pass siblings", they are similar.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 02:00 PM   #12060
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When have they built the route to France via the Viella tunnels?
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