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March 26, 2019

Hungary: Border Crossings

Filed under: Dog, Europe, Hungary, Photography, The List, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:10 pm

The Hungarian side of the border, partially reused as a gas station

On our way from Bratislava Slovakia to Graz Austria we crossed briefly into Hungary. At the end of the day we’d crossed an international border on nine occasions in the nineteen days since our road trip began. All this crossing of borders was made easier by the Schengen Agreement, which has eliminated the need for border checkpoints.

Before the Schengen treaty was signed in 1985 we would have had to stop at every border to have our passports stamped. Indeed, it wasn’t until 2003 that Hungary and Slovakia joined the agreement. Even 15 years ago our journey would have been more complicated.

The border

Today each border crossing comes with a reminder of how the old system worked. The large border complexes capable of processing a dozen or so vehicles at the same time are generally still intact. But without a purpose they have generally fallen into disrepair. Weeds have split the expanse of concrete pavement and the structures are decaying over time.

Curiously the governments who own the border facilities don’t seem confident that the buildings will never be needed again. For the most part the structures have not been torn down or repurposed as valuable commercial real estate. So for now the border infrastructure stands in place. It’s unoccupied but otherwise much as it was before the Schengen rules were adopted. It is almost as if governments are not confident that border crossing conventions will remain as they are at the moment.

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We touched ground in Hungary in October of 2018. It was the 17th country our dog Gigi has left her mark in.

Gigi checks out Hungary

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