Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Deutschlandreise 2011: No Borders

Along with analysing international motoring rules, another one of my geeky hobbies is collecting walking European borders that I've walked across. I get a particular thrill out of this experience if I can collect a naff photograph on the way.

I've done Germany to Poland (tight passport control in both directions), Italy to Slovenia (indecipherable signposts and strange food) and France to Switzerland (literally just a step over an imaginary line if you choose the right place):

But in Germany, I was destined to be disappointed. We drove south-west of Munich to the small and picturesque town of Fuessen (where the streets are lined with shops selling Lederhosen and you suspect there is probably a genuine market for them) and, at my request, our host agreed to drive us a couple of kilometres up the road to Austria.

An EU sign with the ring of golden stars proudly told us that we were heading in the right direction, but at the border itself, the best sign we could find was on this old building:

If you look really carefully, you can see the lettering telling travellers that this used to be the customs house.

But in the days of Schengen, the only legible indication that you are crossing a frontier is the sign a little bit further back that reminds you that on Austrian motorways, unlike on those of their neighbours, there's a speed limit.

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