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Interesting Border Crossings

Travel Forums General Talk Interesting Border Crossings

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1. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I'm interested in hearing anyones experiences with land border crossings. Any border crossings stand out in your memories (for one reason or another)?

I'll post a few of mine tonight when I return to my computer.

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

When my grandparents were driving through parts of Europe in the late 60s, early 70s, they had a bizarre time trying to get into Hungary, I think it was. The guard kept pointing to them and to a big puddle, back and forth, and my grandparents were completely confused. They were only let through once they took off their shoes and waded around in the water.

My grandmother later figured it was probably because people were carrying something into the country on their feet or their shoes, and the guard was ordered to ensure only "clean" feet came through.

3. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

When i was coming on a train from Zurich to Milan a group of guards/army officials (not really sure who they were) got on the train at the border with Italy and started taking the whole carriage apart. They prised away panels from the walls and checked people's baggage, searched a couple of guys. They searched the place thoroughly for 15 or 20 mins and then just took off again.

Very strange....

4. Posted by cdntrvl (Full Member 50 posts) 11y

Crossing over from Namibia into Botswanna through the Caprivi Strip. The entire border crossing was a small wooden lift gate (one bar wide) and a picnic table, complete with soldiers and machine guns.

5. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

We drove down to the United States for a couple weeks... (pre terror alerts)

Needless to say it wasn't too strict, the border guarde asked us:

"Do you have any alchol in the vehicle?"... no we replyed, we were not counting the case inbetween the seats. There was no drinking and driving, just no where else to put the beer

"Do you have any tobacco products?"... no we replyed, we were not counting the cigars on the dash.

"Do you have any fruits or vegtables?"... again we replyed no, and again not counting the large cooler of fruits and vegtables we had...

That was my favorite border crossing... now I hear to get into the United States you need a passport and a reason... oh well...

6. Posted by alba (Budding Member 30 posts) 11y

An Italian friend of mine, a Greek one and I were driving to Switzerland and at the border between Italy and Switzerland we got checked. The Greek friend held a Greek passport and her name was Georgia. The guard took it with interest looked at me (!) and said: "You're from Georgia, Canada, right?!". Well... no comment.

7. Posted by mtlchica (Respected Member 922 posts) 11y

When I was a kid we would drive to the States to get sneakers (because they were cheaper there and had better brands). It was a whole process, we would wear old cloth tennis shoes we bought for $1.99 at the discount store up here in Montreal, go to Plattsburgh, New York to buy new cool shoes, and toss the crappy ones away. This may sound like a waste, but the crappy shoes usually had holes in them because they were worn-in (we wouldn't just buy shoes and throw them out, that would be wrong). Anyways, one time when I was eight we got stopped at the border. I was wearing my brand-spanking new, white, L.A. Gear cross trainers and I was really afraid that I'd get busted (I cared more than my parents at this point, but I was paranoid from an early age). I walked to an area where there was a lot of dirt and got my new, clean shoes dirty. They let us go and my new shoes were no longer white. It was a sad day in Katie-ville. ;)

8. Posted by noemagosa (Full Member 355 posts) 11y

During my childhood my family and I were living in Southern France, so most of the summers we spent them in the Pyrénées where crossing the border to Spain was very easy.

We would have a walk in the mountains and then suddenly my father would say, "ha! on this side of the road (more likely a "path") it's France, on the other side it's Spain!"... My brother and I had funny games with this; jumping from a side to another...

9. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 11y

My friends got stripped searched coming out of Czech;)

that was pretty funny (for me)

10. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I enjoyed reading the responses already posted (sorry about your sneakers Katie). Cdntrvl, having been to both Namibia and Botswana I give you a lot of credit for crossing that border up in the Caprivi Strip.

I think my most memorable was down in Patagonia. I was leaving, via my rental car, from Chile to enter Argentina. When I got to the border there was noone there so I opened the gate and drove through to the Argentine side. I had read that you can get fined when you leave Argentina (without having a stamp showing that you entered Argentina). So I looked around to see if I could find anyone (the winds most have been 60/mph). Finally, I found a human being, he wasn't the border guard but told me to "wait a minute". Then I see him banging on the door then the window of a nearby house (it was the middle of the afternoon), after about 10 minutes this guy, who must have been sleeping, comes out and tells me to come into the border control hut. Then he wants to see every possible document I could possiblye have. Did he forget that he won't even know I was there if I hadn't FOUND HIM. I had to go out to the car a few times to keep getting documents about the car, etc..

I'll post a few others later on.