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October 15, 2019

Monaco: Borders

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Monaco, Photography, The List, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , — anotherheader @ 3:04 pm

Monaco in the foreground, France in the background

During our short stay in Monaco we took the opportunity to walk across the border to France. It’s easy to do: You just walk behind the Monaco train station and you are in France. There is no barrier or sign that you changed countries and no obvious border marking. Unless you check with a real estate agent or look closely at Google Maps there’s little to tell you that you exited one country and entered another.

After a few more waggles across the Monaco-France border we returned for the evening to Monaco. All told during our fall 2018 road trip I figure that we crossed country borders at least 25 times, not counting all of our staggers at the Monaco train station. In most cases we merely slowed to 30 kph as we drove through the remnants of an old check points. The Schengen Agreement makes travel between the countries of Europe easy. In the absence of Schengen we would have tallied hours of time pointlessly waiting for customs and immigration officials at the borders to stamp our passports and wave us through.

A view of Monaco’s train station from Google: From this picture it seems that the border runs through the buildings. That must make for some interesting tax rules.

Donald Trump has said, “A country without borders is not a country at all.” In Europe that hardly seems accurate: European countries retain their cultural identity. Eat dinner in Germany, Italy, France, or Britain and tell be that there are no countries just because there are no secure borders.

So I’m with John Lennon on this one: Without borders there’s “Nothing to kill or die for.”

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In the fall of 2018 we traveled to Monaco and France and then Monaco and then France….

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