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One Village, Two Nations. Two of Everything...

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One Village, Two Nations. Two of Everything...

Old Apr 3rd, 2020, 03:23 PM
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Dai
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One Village, Two Nations. Two of Everything...

This is such a well done, yet short video on a little village I never knew existed. I find it fascinating and wanted to share. It makes me want to visit, when the global craziness is all over:

https://www.greatbigstory.com/storie..._blogfooterold

Last edited by Dai; Apr 3rd, 2020 at 03:25 PM.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2020, 09:30 PM
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That is really quite amazing. Other countries could learn from this. Thanks so much for sharing.
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Old Apr 4th, 2020, 01:16 AM
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Thanks for posting.
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Old Apr 5th, 2020, 09:16 AM
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Kay and Sassafrass I'm glad you enjoyed it too. I'm interested to see if someone who has been here would care to share their own impression. It's funny how a four minute video can make me very interested in seeing this place for myself.
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Old Apr 5th, 2020, 09:36 AM
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Lovely story! Thanks for posting!
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Old Apr 6th, 2020, 12:18 AM
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I wonder if the people who live there, who've grown up with that situation, don't think anything of it. But we, as outsiders, think it's quite strange.
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Old Apr 6th, 2020, 07:30 AM
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Normally people don't really think about it; you do your shopping, you go to restaurants in either part of the town.
However it is not such a funny situation now that we again have a border between the Netherlands and Belgium. The two countries have different approaches to the corona crisis.
In Belgium all shops except food stores were closed, in the Netherlands stores stayed open. There are border controls, only essential travel is allowed.
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Old Apr 6th, 2020, 12:38 PM
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Thanks for the added comments. Tulips, that's interesting what you wrote. Now that there is a border, does everyone have to show passports to cross? (I'm not speaking about this village-that would be impossible, ha!), but it sounds like you are saying that borders are being manned again, and for awhile between Belgium and NL, they had opened the borders? Was that after everyone started using the Euro? What made them close the borders again? Sorry, I just realized that I am asking for a history lesson ;-)
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Old Apr 6th, 2020, 11:41 PM
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There have not been borders between the Netherlands and Belgium for a very long time; pre-Euro and pre-Schengen there was the Benelux.
There have not been noticable borders between other Schengen countries since 1995, except for times when there were checks for security issues, such as after the Paris terrorist attacks.

But now, I cannot just go and visit my kids in Amsterdam. There are border checks, and only essential transport and workers are allowed to cross. If you have no good reason to travel, you are turned away.
People are fined 250 euro for breaking the rules. I cannot travel within Belgium either, unless to go food shopping. Anything else is non-essential travel.

If you had told me that this would happen a couple of months ago, I would not have believed it.
But it is working. Though far from over, it seems to be under control in Belgium, and hospitals can handle the cases they have.


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Old Apr 6th, 2020, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Dai View Post
Kay and Sassafrass I'm glad you enjoyed it too. I'm interested to see if someone who has been here would care to share their own impression. It's funny how a four minute video can make me very interested in seeing this place for myself.
Cycled through there, a few times. It's a village with border markings in the pavement. That's it. Loads of funny photo opportunities.
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Old Apr 7th, 2020, 10:56 AM
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Tulips, thank you for the history lesson. I had never heard of Benelux, and so I learned more thanks to Wikipedia ;-) I am glad your nation is seeing positive results from all the precautions.

There was only one vacation year where I crossed from one European nation to another by land instead of by flight. Back in 1996, we left Paris on an overnight train and landed in La Spezia. The train didn't stop for any border checks that I can remember as we entered Italy. When we were headed back to Paris from Milan though, our train stopped in Switzerland. Agents boarded the train and checked all passports. I hadn't thought about that until this thread. Out of curiosity, (in NORMAL times, NOT during this Covid-19 pandemic) do you think there are border inspections on trains still? Do you think that if we were to travel by train from Italy through Switzerland that agents would still stop the train and look at all passports? I'm just curious.

Menachem, wait until the Instagram aficionados hear about this place...or Rick Steves ha!

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Old Apr 7th, 2020, 12:28 PM
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Yes there are still passport checks on international trains. Not every train but they still happen. The immigration officials board at the first station over the border, work their way through the train and get off at the next station.
Had it a couple of times on trains to/from Germany.

There are plenty of areas in Europe where you in normal times are never quite sure which country you are in if you are using the small roads. There are also other enclaves in Europe often on the Siwss German border, but also in the Pyrennees
Many people in Europe live in one country and work in another, and people cross border shop to wherever things are cheaper.
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Old Apr 7th, 2020, 02:57 PM
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"There are plenty of areas in Europe where you in normal times are never quite sure which country you are in if you are using the small roads. "

This is so interesting to me. One can come and go and there is no gate or border crossing? Nothing? It's hard for me to imagine living that easily with a neighboring nation. I grew up and lived most my life in So California. Tijuana was the closest international border all those years. That border has been fortified my whole life.

I forgot to add, thanks for answering the train question. We love trains.
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Old Apr 9th, 2020, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dai View Post
"There are plenty of areas in Europe where you in normal times are never quite sure which country you are in if you are using the small roads. "

This is so interesting to me. One can come and go and there is no gate or border crossing? Nothing? It's hard for me to imagine living that easily with a neighboring nation. I grew up and lived most my life in So California. Tijuana was the closest international border all those years. That border has been fortified my whole life.

I forgot to add, thanks for answering the train question. We love trains.
My great grandparents had a general store in the north east of the country, near the German border (Winschoten). Many, many stories in the family of my great grandmother who smuggled coffee under her clothing across the German border and bribed border guards with extra coffee and cigars.

In the south, in the 1930s, butter and tobacco smuggling was done by armed gangs driving armoured cars. It was an entire industry,
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Old Apr 14th, 2020, 04:39 AM
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That was wonderful. Thanks for sharing! Now I want to visit the town. We spent a short time in Belgium and The Netherlands this past summer and enjoyed it so much that we hope to go back in a couple of years.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2020, 11:19 AM
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I'm originally from Montreal and moved to South Florida in 1993.

About 30 years ago I read an article about a town on the Canada-US border. Apparently there was a surveying error many years ago and the town was actually in the US and not in Canada as thought. The residents were concerned because of health insurance issues.

I don't remember the name of the town or what ever happened.

I do know that there are two towns, Stanstead, Quebec and Derby Line, Vermont that are actually one town but since 9/11 gates have been put up on streets. In the 1700s, I think a free library and opera were/was purposely built spanning the border.

To get into the library you have to go thru door that places you in one country then you go into the other. And in the opera house the stage is in Canada and the audience is mostly in the US.

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Old Jun 2nd, 2020, 02:17 PM
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Perhaps you are thinking of Point Roberts, Washington. That is the peninsula South of Vancouver Canada that sticks into the U.S. below the 49th parallel. It is less than five square miles and has about 1,000 residents. The kids there are bused 25 miles into Canada and then back across the U.S. border to the town of Blaine, Washington to go to school. Crazy!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2020, 02:59 AM
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nukesafe,

No it's not on the west coast.

It's somewhere along the Quebec - US border. I'll try to find out about it.

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