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Luggage Transfer Correos

Silly question for really old timers

0 Euro Camino Bank Note

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Not on the paths in the early 1990s. There were border posts on the main roads which could be manned if required but I think that was rare. Effectively an open border. I walked across the border on the Route Napoleon in July 1990 and only knew I was in Spain because I saw a few concrete posts and a loose strand of wire that was a very token fence long fallen into disuse. There was a horse wandering loose nearby and I asked it if it wanted to check my passport but it didn't seem interested :)
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I doubt it but I have crossed the bridge over the Bidassoa between Irun and Hendaye in the past several years when the French Gendarmes have stopped the bus and asked everyone for their passport. Several passengers were removed on one occasion.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Border controls would have taken all the fun out of that popular southern French leisure time activity of slipping over the border to the nearest Venta and stocking up on booze & fags ;)
There are some classic cartoons of Basque folks running back and forth at the border control on the Autopsita with hams and wine, while tourist are being stopped and seeing their purchases confiscated.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I doubt it but I have crossed the bridge over the Bidassoa between Irun and Hendaye in the past several years when the French Gendarmes have stopped the bus and asked everyone for their passport. Several passengers were removed on one occasion.
I have had a similar experience a couple of times on trains between France and Italy in recent years. I think it reflects a quite recent preoccupation with migration that didn't exist to anything like the same extent in the 1990s.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I have a report of Dominique Paladilhe who walked in 1948 from France to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and then to Roncesvalles and Santiago. At that time the French-Spanish border was still closed at the top of the mountain pass (route Napoleon) and it was illegal to cross. He did walk up just to see and because he knew that pilgrims of old had walked there but he then walked down again and on to Valcarlos to do whatever was necessary to do at the border and customs post (having his papers duly checked and stamped).

Don't forget that Spain joined the European Union in 1986. Schengen was a long drawn out and gradual process. Not sure how to explain this and I barely remember it in any detail. But it was for example legal to walk over a border between two EU countries at a point where there was no control while at the same time you were still controlled (passports and goods) if you drove in a car on a major road and crossed at a manned border control post. So I could imagine that it was similar at the French-Spanish border, depending on where you crossed.

I travelled to Spain for the first time in 1986 and there was no need to have a visa or a stamp in my passport. The internal borders were very important for the control of the movement of goods at the time. Nowadays the concern has shifted to the control of the movement of persons, hence sporadic passport controls.

For a long time there were still border control huts on motorways but nobody was in there. You just had to slow down until you had passed them. Then one day they were gone and you could just drive through in a straight line. I remember how it felt. Exhilarating :).

So what I'm trying to say is that it was probably legal to cross the border on the route Napoleon as pilgrim/walker without any form of control long before Spain joined Schengen.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC 77; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta 19.
My first cross-the-frontier visit to Spain was in 1977. I trained it from Lourdes to Burgos, and - later - from Barcelona to Toulouse.. And I have absolutely no recollection of encountering border guards or customs officials on either occasion.
 
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Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Prior to 1995, when Spain joined the shengen pact, were there passport controls between SJPDP and Roncevalles? Just curious
Been over that border twice - 2014 and 2016. No passport checks 😊
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Around 1988 we drove from Barcelona to Andorra and tried to take a short cut through France. For a short period around then Americans needed a priorly obtained visa to visit France which we hadn't gotten. We did encounter a border station where it would be unexpected. We were waved through though because we were in a car with Portuguese plates. I stopped anyway hoping for a visa exception for the road to Andorra. We had no luck.

Peg is still upset with me for stopping despite my protests that just a small traffic incident could have sent us to jail (I read accounts of similar incidents causing that).
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018
travelled to Spain for the first time in 1986 and there was no need to have a visa or a stamp in my passport. The internal borders were very important for the control of the movement of goods at the time. Nowadays the concern has shifted to the control of the movement of persons, hence sporadic passport controls.
You have police wandering through trains at the borders between France and Germany and France and Belgium. Goods can be controlled anywhere on the roads in France to check that you have paid VAT on your purchases...
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
In another thread this morning someone asked if what they have been told recently is true: that it is now illegal to walk the Camino alone. Imagine the harmless fun we could have by inventing stories about the new border checkpoints at the Fuente de Roldan and the special Camino visa rules for non-EU citizens.... :cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
In another thread this morning someone asked if what they have been told recently is true: that it is now illegal to walk the Camino alone. Imagine the harmless fun we could have by inventing stories about the new border checkpoints at the Fuente de Roldan and the special Camino visa rules for non-EU citizens.... :cool:
I'd just tell them in lieu of a shell carry a Portuguese license plate.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
In another thread this morning someone asked if what they have been told recently is true: that it is now illegal to walk the Camino alone. Imagine the harmless fun we could have by inventing stories about the new border checkpoints at the Fuente de Roldan and the special Camino visa rules for non-EU citizens.... :cool:
And there would be the potential market for a lightweight inflatable “companion” to be utilized at checkpoints 🤡
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Dominique Paladilhe walked in 1948 from France to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and then to Roncesvalles and Santiago
If anyone is interested, it's here but it's in French: http://www.museedeseineport.info/Livres/Paladilhe/A pied vers Compostelle.pdf
Two interesting bits slightly related to the topic of the thread: Dominique Paladilhe was well informed about the roads that medieval pilgrims took and tried to follow them.
  • About Foncebadon, he writes in 1948 that there was no road whatsoever that provided a link between Foncebadon and Molinaseca, i.e. more than 20 km across the mountains. So he took the road through the Manzana pass and through Bembibre.
  • Shortly before O Cebreiro, he diverts to Lugo and joins today's Camino Frances later again, to his great regret because he would have loved to go to the church O Cebreiro. He says that the path from O Cebreiro to Palas de Rei would have been "impracticable without a guide" and I think he doesn't mean a book, he means a person when he mentions a guide.
When he walks up to the closed French/Spanish border, he doesn't go through SJPP. In fact, he is already in SJPP but returns to Saint-Jean-le-Vieux and continues through Caro and Saint-Michel. So I guess in those days the road from SJPP that we take today did not exist either in its present form.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Saint-Jean-le-Vieux is the older staging point ... last chance to get supplies and for a group to gather to make the dangerous crossing. It's a nice little village. And only those coming off the French chemins see it.

Edited for a typo.
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Prior to 1995 there were many Guarda Civil controls on the border because ETA. So, the chances to be required for your ID document were high.
It is said that padre Elias Valiña was asked by the Guarda Civil when he was painting yellow arrows near the border. " I'm preparing a big invasion" he said.
 

Anto

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017 SJPDP to Pamplona
Great picture Kather1na, any more from that time
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
There is still a border with customs and border control posts in the Pyrenees: Andorra has a national border with Spain and with France and is neither part of the EU nor part of the Schengen area. But even there, according to the Guide Routard for example, there is often no control of passports or ID cards when you enter at an official border crossing point.

There may, however, be customs control when you leave Andorra because cigarettes smuggling is still going on. It's profitable, apparently, but some of the criminals who engage in it employ young men who don't get paid much, and only last year a 20 year old guy died of hypothermia in the Pyrenees "for a few euros".

Enter cigarettes Andorra into Google Video for videoclips of the French Douane officers donning their rain ponchos and going on patrol.

Obviously, all the footpaths in mountain areas cannot be permanently controlled, neither in the past nor today, so there were always patrols on foot. Really solid border "walls" are rare. We had one in parts of Europe until 30 years ago, and now we are trying to figure out how to avoid another one ... where this old border had to prevent people from leaving their country, while the new border will be mainly about tariffs and excise and customs duties.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Goods can be controlled anywhere on the roads in France to check that you have paid VAT on your purchases...
Please tell me where in the EU I can purchase goods without VAT as a private consumer who lives in the EU. I'm raring to go .. . :cool:.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
If I dig out my 1973 Oz Passport it will show a stamp for leaving France and entering Spain - via the Paris to Madrid express train. If the old memory serves I don't remember changing trains or being delayed whilst there was a change of bogies so we must have gone through OK. (Was that when there were uniform gauges for France and Spain?)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
If I dig out my 1973 Oz Passport it will show a stamp for leaving France and entering Spain - via the Paris to Madrid express train. If the old memory serves I don't remember changing trains or being delayed whilst there was a change of bogies so we must have gone through OK. (Was that when there were uniform gauges for France and Spain?)
And if you didn't have an ENTRADA stamp from entering Spain you couldn't get a SALIDA stamp to leave!

Interesting documentary on the border railway station at Canfranc (it's on the Camino Aragones) on PBS America recently. Trains arriving from France couldn't cross into Spain because of the different rail gauges. A local man rooting through paperwork he found in the abandoned buildings came across evidence of "smuggling" on a grand scale. In the early 1940s 86 tonnes of gold bullion arrived on Swiss registered trucks (there are photos) which were driven onto Spanish flatbed wagons and then "disappeared" into Franco's Spain.
Eat your hearts out Kelly's Heroes!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Please tell me where in the EU I can purchase goods without VAT as a private consumer who lives in the EU. I'm raring to go .. . :cool:.
I suppose that, when the UK performs the ultimate Seppuku and leaves the EU, I'll be able to claim back the 20% TVA on purchases made in France - mind you I'll then have to pay the 20% VAT to bring them home to the UK o_O
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Not only in the French border, before Shengen an ID card was required between Spain and Portugal.
Once, I coundn't enter Portugal because my ID card had expired.
In 1974 after the Carnation Revolution in Portugal, passport between both countries was required for a period of time.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Great picture Kather1na, any more from that time
No pictures but another interesting source from that time. Pierre Barret and Jean-Noël Gurgand are two French journalists who walked in 1977 from Vézelay to Santiago and wrote a book about it. They are unknown to most of us here on the forum but they did for French pilgrims what Shirley MacLaine and Martin Sheen later did for pilgrims from the States: make the way to Santiago known to a wider public. 😊

They have this to say about their crossing the border from SJJP to Roncesvalles in 1977: We went from one country to the next up there without even noticing it. No barbed wire up there, no control by police officers or customs officers whatsoever.

So it seems that it was the way I had suspected earlier: there was passport control at official border crossing points like at roads and railways stations but not on the mountain footpaths. And the border is not marked by fences but just by the mojones that aren't even easy to find.

They were also sorely disappointed by the reception they got in Roncesvalles in 1977. It was nothing of the sort they had expected on the basis of medieval poems and the monastery's fame in the distant past. They erred for a while through the monastery buildings that they felt were three hundred times more vast than an abandoned railway station until they got hold of a cleric who told them to get dry elsewhere. So they left Roncesvalles and walked to Burguete and stayed in a small hotel there.
 
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kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
I crossed from France to Spain on the Paris to Madrid night train in 1985. We all had to get out an Hendaye and stand in line (forever it seemed), to get our passports checked (not stamped) and change trains. I remember a Spanish university student laughing as he jumped back and forth across a yellow line repeatedly, exclaiming that now he had been in France over ten times!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
You want to try and fool the facial recognition cameras too eh?
After reading about a license plate incident a few days ago I'm wondering about what will happen to all the people who will get tickets for driving on the sidewalk because their personalized plates match one on the dress.

The incident I read about was how a guy who picked "NULL" for his plate ended up getting billed for every ticket in the state of California that the cops forgot to enter the plate number down.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
The romance of travel - sounds like a scene from Berlin Express or Pimpernel Smith 🚂🚃🚃
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
Prior to 1995, when Spain joined the shengen pact, were there passport controls between SJPDP and Roncevalles? Just curious
In the early 90s' my wife and I crossed the Col de Somport from Pau to Jaca in a Morgan sportscar. The French Customs/Passport office was not manned. On the Spanish side there was a queue before the Spanish border control. But this was due to a coach stopping on the single track road to set down and pick up passengers. There were a couple of Guardia Civil wearing tricornio hats but they did not seem interested in asking for passports. The run up from France was beautiful and just over the Spanish border we Passed Canfranc Railway station which was very impressive.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I suppose that, when the UK performs the ultimate Seppuku and leaves the EU, I'll be able to claim back the 20% TVA on purchases made in France - mind you I'll then have to pay the 20% VAT to bring them home to the UK o_O
What language is this you speak? I'm American and my head is often in the sand on a beach.😁
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
A several times when I have used the road through Valcarlos to go to Pamplona from Biarritz there has been a barrage of Gendarmes asking for passport. They will kindly ask you to open the boot, I suspect to see if you are carrying Jambon du Bayonne into Spain.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
A several times when I have used the road through Valcarlos to go to Pamplona from Biarritz there has been a barrage of Gendarmes asking for passport. They will kindly ask you to open the boot, I suspect to see if you are carrying Jambon du Bayonne into Spain.
Did you never ask what they were looking for? I'm really curious. I'd expect that these days they look for drugs in large volumes and also tobacco and possibly guns?

I know that every EU country can have their own limits on the amount of cigarettes and alcohol that you buy in one EU country and bring with you into another. Apart from that, for a private individual, there are no limits on what you can buy and take with you when travelling between EU countries as long as the purchased goods are for your own use and not for resale. So Customs can check if you own or work for a commercial business, how the goods are packaged and transported, and they will also look at the quantity of products you are travelling with.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
What language is this you speak? I'm American and my head is often in the sand on a beach.😁
In "simplified English" it's a Sales Tax. If you are resident in any EU state and purchase something from another EU state there are no taxes due when you bring it home.

Imagine finding something cheaper in Canada then bringing it back to the USA without incurring import duties.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
If I dig out my 1973 Oz Passport it will show a stamp for leaving France and entering Spain - via the Paris to Madrid express train. If the old memory serves I don't remember changing trains or being delayed whilst there was a change of bogies so we must have gone through OK. (Was that when there were uniform gauges for France and Spain?)
In 1972 I still had to change trains in Barcelona to go on to Paris or Geneva...
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Did you never ask what they were looking for? I'm really curious. I'd expect that these days they look for drugs in large volumes and also tobacco and possibly guns?
I'm simply trying to understand why private individuals would try to smuggle ham from Bayonne into Spain these days. I see that I could order 10 hams online and could either pick them up in Bayonne or have them delivered for free to an address in Pamplona ...
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I'm simply trying to understand why private individuals would try to smuggle ham from Bayonne into Spain these days. I see that I could order 10 hams online and could either pick them up in Bayonne or have them delivered for free to an address in Pamplona ...
'Cos for some of us it's not the result it's the game that counts ;)

Though I can remember friends who lived near St Jean de Luz back in the 1970's who would drive over the unmade, and unobserved, roads to a Venta near Bera to buy Jambon de Bayonne at about 2/3rds the price they could buy it in Bayonne(?) and French cigarettes cheaper than than could buy at home. They would take Artichokes, in season, and Oysters in part-exchange. The absurdities of borders and controls and differential taxation have been suppressed by the EC but they will never entirely go away. I buy my Tinto de Bierzo from a Portuguese wholesaler for less than I can buy it from the Producer direct. I buy my Dao from an English wine merchant for less than I can buy it from the same Portuguese wholesaler.

I take some pre-printed Labels with me these days for when I meet my good friend in his little Finca near Potes. His Orujo comes without a label and UK Border Control don't like un-labelled bottles....

Does anyone remember what the question was ;)

Edited for accuracy
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I take some pre-printed Labels with me these days for when I meet my good friend in his little Finca near Potes. His Orujo comes without a label and UK Border Control don't like un-labelled bottles....
:) Summer 1989. At a friend's wedding in West Berlin he gave me an unlabelled bottle of his father's homemade kirsch. Being young, nervous and rigidly upright I duly said "yes" to the UK customs official who asked if I had anything to declare on my return. "What is it?" So I explained. He paused for a long moment then smiled and replied "I hope you enjoy it Sir!" and let me pass. Probably a mountain of paperwork for something insignificant 👮‍♂️🙂
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
This is all very entertaining but you all are talking alcohol while I'm talking cured hams. I'm mean if this is still such a thing in these days of the customs union and the single market and not just harking back to the glory days of local smuggling in the Navarra border area I may consider lugging a jambon de Bayonne or two in my backpack over the pass on the route Napoleon if I walk there again. So 🍗 not 🥃. Gosh, I had to resort to a poultry leg here ... is this set of forum icons so anglocentric that they don't even have a decent icon for staple food like a whole cured ham? :cool:

Interesting article about people and life in the area we are walking through without knowing much more about it than the few lines in a small guidebook at best. You may recognise some names: Zubiri, Zabaldika, Mezkiritz, Erro pass. The title is Smugglers: Surviving in the border area, see here: https://www.noticiasdenavarra.com/2019/05/19/vecinos/sobrevivir-en-la-frontera-contrabandistas
 
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Isobeljc

Still walking
Camino(s) past & future
Frances “2017”
Aragones “2018”
Portuguese “2018”
And if you didn't have an ENTRADA stamp from entering Spain you couldn't get a SALIDA stamp to leave!

Interesting documentary on the border railway station at Canfranc (it's on the Camino Aragones) on PBS America recently. Trains arriving from France couldn't cross into Spain because of the different rail gauges. A local man rooting through paperwork he found in the abandoned buildings came across evidence of "smuggling" on a grand scale. In the early 1940s 86 tonnes of gold bullion arrived on Swiss registered trucks (there are photos) which were driven onto Spanish flatbed wagons and then "disappeared" into Franco's Spain.
Eat your hearts out Kelly's Heroes!
This time last year we got off the bus at Somport and were met by the Guarda Civil.

They were amazed that we had come all the way from Australia and happily took a pics of us at the sign.

A beautiful walk down the hill to overnight in Canfrac. The station has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately the tours were booked out for the day.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
This is all very entertaining but you all are talking alcohol while I'm talking cured hams. I'm mean if this is still such a thing in these days of the customs union and the single market and not just harking back to the glory days of local smuggling in the Navarra border area I may consider lugging a jambon de Bayonne or two in my backpack over the pass on the route Napoleon if I walk there again. So 🍗 not 🥃. Gosh, I had to resort to a poultry leg here ... is this set of forum icons so anglocentric that they don't even have a decent icon for staple food like a whole cured ham? :cool:

Interesting article about people and life in the area we are walking through without knowing much more about it than the few lines in a small guidebook at best. You may recognise some names: Zubiri, Zabaldika, Mezkiritz, Erro pass. The title is Smugglers: Surviving in the border area, see here: https://www.noticiasdenavarra.com/2019/05/19/vecinos/sobrevivir-en-la-frontera-contrabandistas
I loved walking through the Basqie region on both the Camino Frances and the Norte. I just finished reading the book "Guernica", and have just started reading "The History of the Basque people". They are a fascinating group of people.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I loved walking through the Basqie region on both the Camino Frances and the Norte. I just finished reading the book "Guernica", and have just started reading "The History of the Basque people". They are a fascinating group of people.
And fierce in honouring their traditions. I remember hearing how the Presidente of the Corrida in San Sebastian failed to make sure all of the evacuation points from the bull ring were clear. Only one had been left unlocked so that when one of the bulls leapt the barrera and the crowd panicked and tried to escape there was nearly a disaster. Fortunately nobody was killed and he was allowed to keep his job but he was censured for putting all of his Basques in one Exit. 🐂
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
I've been surprised at how little my passport has been looked at this week. It was checked in the Frankfurt airport, but not in France or Spain. I was hoping to have those stamps too!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I've been surprised at how little my passport has been looked at this week. It was checked in the Frankfurt airport, but not in France or Spain. I was hoping to have those stamps too!
I'm sorry for your disappointment ☺. That's the very concept of the Schengen area: passport control happens only at the external land, sea and air border. When you've crossed it once, you're in and there is no further passport control and no loss of time because of checking and stamping passports.

It's self-evident where the external Schengen land and sea border is. The air border are invisible lines in every international airport within the Schengen countries: they are there where your passport gets stamped. Most if not all international Schengen airports have a layout with corridors and lanes that separate those who are already in from those who are coming in. Or is it leaving? Anyway, our airports had to do a lot of remodelling before Schengen went live.

This thread makes me feel really old ...
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
And that's what it looked like at the French-Spanish border in Valcarlos at 1 pm on Saturday 24 August 2019 (see below). Due to road closures around Biarritz during the G7 meeting, they had expected that a lot of traffic would materialise on the N-135 through Valcarlos but apparently the opposite happened: it was calmer than usual. People just stayed away.

Valcarlos 26 Aug.png
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
I'm sorry for your disappointment ☺. That's the very concept of the Schengen area: passport control happens only at the external land, sea and air border. When you've crossed it once, you're in and there is no furcontrol and no loss of time because of checking air border are invisible lines.

This thread makes me feel really old ...
I don't know if this helps but for some reason I picture you as a medieval monk with glasses at the end of your nose and a pile of books and scrolls beside you... Perhaps it's because of all the detailed research and quotes you add to your forum replies.

Anyway I for one really miss all the pastport stamps, coming home from a trip to Europe I'll only have two boring ones to show for weeks of travel. Not like the time I used up an entire new passport traveling though Central America, to be fair the stamps for taking a car across the border required a page of there own. And the ones you get for being a guest of the communists used to be three coloured affairs requiring careful alignment. Perhaps that's why I love the Camino so much, you get a fresh stamp every day.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
And the ones you get for being a guest of the communists used to be three coloured affairs requiring careful alignment. Perhaps that's why I love the Camino so much, you get a fresh stamp every day.
I visited the Soviet Union in 1977 with a school group. The paperwork for that was impressive! And passing through the DDR by car for a friend's wedding in Berlin in 1989 just before the Wall came down was an interesting experience too. Just a few years later in the 1990s I was able to drive straight into the Czech Republic without stopping and withdraw Czech korunas from my Scottish bank account in seconds from an ATM. An astonishing change. And walking across the Italian/Slovenian border near Trieste without even realising I had done so :)

@hel&scott I don't picture @Kathar1na as a monk - somehow that doesn't seem to fit with her name :cool: I've often thought of her as a modern reincarnation of Katharina von Bora: the remarkable Mrs Martin Luther... ;)
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hi David... I know many David's. It's a good name, starting with my first born! I don't know any Henry's, but a few of the David's I know love their doggies!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
@hel&scott, I'm actually a girl of the 20th century who bought her first Apple II when others were still pushing wooden beads on their abacuses and I embraced the internet as soon as Compuserve entered the European market 😀. I know that I have a knack for finding out about stuff electronically and enjoy doing so and I still have a pretty good memory ... and some stuff I just know ...
Anyway I for one really miss all the pastport stamps, coming home from a trip to Europe I'll only have two boring ones to show for weeks of travel
I sympathise. But when you are born and live in countries of Continental Europe and not in a huge area like Canada, Australia or the States, or on a largish island be it to the north/north west or on the other side of the globe, then you quickly realise that there are national borders everywhere and crossing them is just a hassle, whether for work, commerce or travel, and you simply don't miss it all when they are gone.

@Bradypus, being compared to Herr Käthe, as her husband called her sometimes, is a great compliment. I actually don't know that much about her. Something to research and read about ... ☺
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
But at least we’ll have ‘taken back control’ Jeff.😂
I know that we are not allowed to talk about it but really ... a government that proudly announces to The People that they will soon be able to buy cheap booze and fags and ruin their health further when duty-free purchasing makes a return ... 🙄. Wherever it returns to, it won't be in Valcarlos (there, I made the connection to forum matters and this thread).
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Prior to 1995, when Spain joined the shengen pact, were there passport controls between SJPDP and Roncevalles? Just curious
Nope, not on the hiker's path up in the mountains -- but there were on the lower path along the tarmac.

BTW the Schengen Area laws only came into effect in 1999, so right up 'til 1998 there were still those border controls down there even though Spain had joined the EU ; and even this year, when I went across the Perthus Pass between French and Spanish Catalonia, there was still a hard border and some controls, and I was checked out by some plain clothes Police BTW.

And if you go on the French coastal Provençal Way towards (or from) Rome, they probably *will* check your passport at the Italian-French border just next to Menton ...
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I have had a similar experience a couple of times on trains between France and Italy in recent years. I think it reflects a quite recent preoccupation with migration that didn't exist to anything like the same extent in the 1990s.
It did -- but it went away for a while in the 2000s ...
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I suppose that, when the UK performs the ultimate Seppuku and leaves the EU, I'll be able to claim back the 20% TVA on purchases made in France - mind you I'll then have to pay the 20% VAT to bring them home to the UK o_O
IIRC, as long as you stayed within certain strict limits of what you can bring in off-duty, you wouldn't have to.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
I know that we are not allowed to talk about it but really ... a government that proudly announces to The People that they will soon be able to buy cheap booze and fags and ruin their health further when duty-free purchasing makes a return ... 🙄. Wherever it returns to, it won't be in Valcarlos (there, I made the connection to forum matters and this thread).

‘Bread and circuses’ Katharina - it’s as old as the Romans and basic human behaviour doesn't change.
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
I visited the Soviet Union in 1977 with a school group. The paperwork for that was impressive! And passing through the DDR by car for a friend's wedding in Berlin in 1989 just before the Wall came down was an interesting experience too. Just a few years later in the 1990s I was able to drive straight into the Czech Republic without stopping and withdraw Czech korunas from my Scottish bank account in seconds from an ATM. An astonishing change. And walking across the Italian/Slovenian border near Trieste without even realising I had done so :)
The borders are going up again I am afraid. Last week I was on vacation in Istria, Croatia and drove over the border into Slovenia and Italy. Going North all cars were being stopped and ID's were checked. Going South so long as you had a European Union style passport you were waved through. The separate lane for HGVs were receiving a lot of attention and largish queues were forming.

My suspicion is that the hardening of the Hungarian border against migrants is now having a knock on effect on the alternative routes along the Adriatic coast.
 

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