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Old July 13th, 2011, 12:55 AM   #481
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You do see a lot of Portuguese day trippers in Spain. Spanish border towns have set up large shopping areas for visiting Portuguese - mainly due to attractive prices, and on the Portuguese motorway heading up towards the Spanish city of Vigo, Spanish shopping malls advertise their products (in Spanish only!)

You hardly see any Spanish number plates in Portugal, not even in the border regions, and when you do, they are likely to be from Portuguese ex-pats.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 01:07 AM   #482
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Portugal and Spain must be exceptions then (and the French, they only drive in France and French-speaking areas of neighbouring countries ).
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Old July 13th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #483
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
Portugal and Spain must be exceptions then (and the French, they only drive in France and French-speaking areas of neighbouring countries ).
Not in Spain in the summer. Not even in Portugal in the summer. One major traffic-jam from San Sebastian all the way to Bordeaux. All French.

Lots of French about here in Mayrhofen at the moment. All mainly from Strasbourg and Colmar, but the number plates are there. And then of course all the French workers crossing the border everyday into Basel, Switzerland, Karlsruhe, Kehl and Freiburg, Germany, Luxembourg and Kortrijk, Belgium. Apparently, French wages are not at all that attractive, a lot of them, do work across the border of their neigbouring countries.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 02:26 AM   #484
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
This is the sort of thing that surprises me: even with Schengen, and the end of the Cold War (which wasn't relevant to Spain and Portugal anyway - I mean they weren't on opposite sides) and the Euro, are European countries really that disconnected from their neighbors? Of course, that's a generalization, and of course the people on this very forum would suggest otherwise. But I'd think there'd be plenty of Portuguese people day-tripping or shopping or whatever in nearby areas of Spain. And vice versa.

One Friday during my summer of study in France, someone on the university staff told me one Friday she was going away for the weekend. I asked, "Where?" and she said, "I don't know; maybe England, maybe Germany - I'll just take the first train." 26 years later I still remember that conversation: I envied her and envy you all for having so much cultural, linguistic and historic diversity within reach. If I ever became independently wealthy, I'd just move to Paris or Brussels or some place for a year or two and alternate between enjoying the city and exploring the country and continent....
The Portuguese-Spanish border was pretty closed before fascism fell on both sides, the governments of both countries disliked each other immensely, and people were shot if attempting to cross illegally. It wasn't as bad as the Iron Curtain, people could cross with authorisation. Many Portuguese people crossed it illegally to go to France, they would cross over the mountains from Portugal to Spain, or swim, go through Spain somehow and then walk across the Pyrenees where French taxi drivers waited. The Spanish used to arrest Portuguese people illegally crossing but ended up giving up because the Portuguese secret police always freed them into Portugal, where they just tried again.

Another factor is that there aren't many locals on either side of the border. Most of the border is in pretty sparsely populated areas, then again, nowhere in Mainland Portugal is that far from Spain, Figueira is about as far as you can get and its 2 hours 20 mins from the border (Vilar Formoso, been there many times) and 5 hours or so from Madrid, which I've never been to. Also, Portuguese people are broke and have no money for daytripping, and when they do, they normally stay within Portugal, unless they end up near Spain, then they cross to by fuel and everything else except for dairy products, which are more expensive than in Portugal but thats it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
You do see a lot of Portuguese day trippers in Spain. Spanish border towns have set up large shopping areas for visiting Portuguese - mainly due to attractive prices, and on the Portuguese motorway heading up towards the Spanish city of Vigo, Spanish shopping malls advertise their products (in Spanish only!)

You hardly see any Spanish number plates in Portugal, not even in the border regions, and when you do, they are likely to be from Portuguese ex-pats.
But they are right on the border, and are for the Portuguese locals on the other side, and they don't need the signs.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 02:28 AM   #485
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Quote:
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Not in Spain in the summer. Not even in Portugal in the summer. One major traffic-jam from San Sebastian all the way to Bordeaux. All French.

.
All Portuguese or Morrocan people that live in France, and that traffic jam ends up in Figueira sometimes (on the sea and easy to get to from Spain)
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Old July 13th, 2011, 02:56 PM   #486
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
I thought that this sign was interesting. I'm going to take a wild guess about what the sign on the other side of the river says
That sign should include an E01 in it.
This is the very last exit of E90/A-5 before the border:
http://maps.google.es/maps?ll=38.886...48.94,,0,-4.92

I would have signed A-6 instead of A-5. But I guess what says on the last exit in Portugal: Espanha .
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Old July 13th, 2011, 06:08 PM   #487
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
The Portuguese-Spanish border was pretty closed before fascism fell on both sides, the governments of both countries disliked each other immensely, and people were shot if attempting to cross illegally. It wasn't as bad as the Iron Curtain, people could cross with authorisation.

I have just write a post about a border which never existed even in this Age, but it is the real exception.

Not only the Portuguese-Spanish border was closed because fascism governments... but all Spanish borders which includes the one to Andorra, France (the most controlled), Gibraltar-Great Britain (absolutely closed to traffic) and Morocco (and... some African countries while the colonies period).

It was possible to cross the border but not easy. Even from Spain there was a direct flight Madrid-Moscow (when it was the opposite type of government and the "enemy").

Checks at borders were made always and ... not only there was not a culture of mobility but... there was a culture of being just inside of your country.

In the case of Spain, to avoid people going out of the country, they invented the Identity card. So then, it was mandatory for everyone and you will be identified at any case... but allowed only inside Spain.
Spanish government gived only passports to those citizens allowed to go out of the country. So then... most of people had Id. card but not a passport and... if you went to a border (or at the airport)... no passport, no exit of the country.

Furthermore, for a lot of years they made special zones near the border where only citizens who lived there could move with no problem. There were (specially after the civil war) too many controls on roads and if your identity card didn´t said you lived near there, you may require a special visa to go there.
That visa was not for crossing the border (only allowed with passport) but only to approach it!!!!!! and you could go to prison if moving near the border (about 30-40 km...!!!) without the specific visa.

Portuguese-Spanish border was controlled but French-Spanish border was more, more controlled.

Spanish government knew that if someone went illegally to Portugal... he will return back (and upside down), but after the second world war, the border with France meaned the way to freedom.
Between Portugal and Spain happened something like between Argentina and Chile later...


Nevertheless, borders were not closed... Spanish government was interested in emigration to Europe (France and Germany were the main destinations) because the poverty of the country.
They allowed to go out, to return back, but they checked always in which countries you had been (looking at your visas in the passports), baggage, etc... and, of course WHO was crossing the border.


This is why road signals point only the country, not the city. It was as living inside the wall... and they pointed anywhere outside that wall.

Spain had, for maybe about 8 years only ONE foreing embassy at Madrid (Argentinan embassy) and international isolation was full.




Many, many years later... the Identity card not only still exists but... it is used by all citizens. It is very useful. Dimentions like a credit card, easy to take in your pocket, very difficult to fake and last innovations are in order of electronid Id.Card (with a chip and a password). A lot of administrations, entreprises, banks... apart of their security system, they allow it (they have both security systems... the own one and the public one).


Identity card is allowed to go to any European Union or country of Schengen treaty. In some countries they could be very strange because not used to see... but it is legal (and it is part of the treaty... a national identity must be enough to move abroad).

In my case... my passport expired some years ago and have not requested a new one...
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Old July 13th, 2011, 07:22 PM   #488
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I had no idea Spain under Franco was so closed. Interesting.
But still, that was some time ago....
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Old July 13th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #489
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
I had no idea Spain under Castro was so closed. Interesting.
But still, that was some time ago....
Castro? That geek from Cuba? When did he ever close Spain?

That with America joining the EU... that was a joke, you know that, right?
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Old July 13th, 2011, 07:26 PM   #490
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
Castro? That geek from Cuba? When did he ever close Spain?

That with America joining the EU... that was a joke, you know that, right?
Ooops! I thought I was saying something wrong, but couldn't figure out what. I'll fix it.

But you didn't react to my response about the US joining the EU. Something about taking it over and annoying the French.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 07:44 PM   #491
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
I had no idea Spain under Franco was so closed. Interesting.
But still, that was some time ago....
I remember stories about people going camping in Spain in the 1960's, back then tourism was almost pristine along the now over-touristic coastal areas.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 09:25 PM   #492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
I had no idea Spain under Franco was so closed. Interesting.
But still, that was some time ago....
Portugal was the same, it was all about staying in Portugal or its Empire, it was much more open for foreigners than for Portuguese people.

It wasn't that long ago, the parents of kids my age can still remember it well, and many don't leave much. The Portguese regime fell in 1974 and the Spanish in 1975, but that was much more gradual and strange than in Portugal.

Interestingly enough, in 1968 my mother who is coloured (in the SA sense) and lived in a mainly white household in Mozambique was allowed into SA twice with no passport! Although that was only for one day each (and the other way) as the boat stopped in Cape Town and Durban. She said that people from Madeira were not allowed out becasue they would not come back and the Portuguese didn't want them to leave.

Most Portuguese people complain to each other but not to the relevant authorities, because they couldn't do that under fascism and people felt hopeless and they still do now, even though they could change things. This will be different for my generation though
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Old July 13th, 2011, 10:44 PM   #493
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First time I saw the sign I was a little stuck. I didn't know where to start.

Quiz : On what island you will find this sign?
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Old July 14th, 2011, 08:56 AM   #494
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Something about History.

Sorry because off-topic but I try to give further information.

Spain got on a civil war in 1936 (this monday, July 18th, will be the 75th anniversary) and finished in 1939, having as a result, a fascist government for 36 years.

On the second world war Spain didn't take part but... was not declared neutral never. In fact... they requested volunteers to go to fight against Russia in the called as the "Blue Unit".

After second world war, every country gave back to Spain because its possition while the war.
No foreing embassies where present at Madrid and, when Argentina opened its one, the ambassor was received... such if you receive a president of a big country or similar.

In the 1950s, no relations existed between Spain and "the rest of the world". People transit was not banned. People with passport (I explained that not everyone had a passport) could go abroad, as well as anyone from the Western Europe and a lot of other countries could enter the country with no problem.

But, in fact, there was no commerce to outside, no international relations were stablished... and Spain lived as in a "bubble".


It has been commented tourism in the 1960s. It is not casual!!!!.
In december 1959, US president Eisenhower visited Spain and began a new period, opening to other countries. Some countries started to open embassies and international commerce began.
In Spain, movements to foreing as an emigrant began.

This is why exactly Spain started receiving tourism in the 1960s and not before. Before... it was possible, but international relations recommended to go to any other country. In the 1960s Spain was not the country of today. It was in development and had not the infrastructure that has today for tourism. They had the enough infrastructure for local tourism only (and today... in summer the country should receive 150% visitors compared with local population!!!!)

In the 1970s, Russia and Spain accorded to open embassies, and later all communist countries too. It was very strange at Madrid. Communist party was banned and it was a political delit being part of it. No symbols about communism where allowed, so then, having the flag of USSR public in its embassy was so strange!!!!.

They are too many curious situations. For example, one double football match between Yugoslavia and Spain. Citizens where banned in both countries... and it was France who entered to be able to have both matches. Players visas to enter in both countries were made in the French embassy at Madrid and Belgrado together and they were invited to go there if some problem.
It was the first relation between Spain and a communist country.



But... according to the thread... signal on roads. They are pointing countries. But... it is similar as if they point "anywhere outside Spain". It is an old tradition that, very, very slowly it is being changed.
New international motorways have no customs cabins, but still is used to indicate the country. Just new ones indicates the city instead of the country.


It is a reason made a lot of years ago that, no one have take enough care to change.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 05:28 PM   #495
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New signs in Italy (I was hoping for Benetke ):


http://www.primorski.it/stories/trst/192795/
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Old July 15th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #496
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Quote:
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Quiz : On what island you will find this sign?
Thasos, Greece.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 08:27 AM   #497
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Thasos, Greece.


Right!
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Old July 16th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #498
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I have just noticed the telephone numbers 2593...
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Old July 27th, 2011, 08:39 PM   #499
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Long names Besztercebánya (Hungarian name) - Banska Bystrica (Slovak)





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Old July 27th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #500
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This bilingual name should have been posted on 2 rows!
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my clinched highways
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