Friday, 11 February 2011

Across the Borderline

For the postcard publisher it often seems that no location is too mundane – for which we should all give thanks. This border post between France and Italy has no great notoriety and has been here at Pont Saint-Louis since 1860. In the world of fiction the border crossing is a regular standby – a place of intrigue where forged documents are presented and contraband is smuggled. Romantic separations, fugitives from justice, espionage artists – there’s room for all here. Inside the EU (and away from the British Isles where frontier paranoia runs at a high level) crossings are, like this one is now, often unstaffed and vehicle movements are completely unchecked. Curiously when travelling by train between France and Italy, passports are inspected with cold-eyed scrutiny by stone-faced officials from both countries. Presumably research into terrorist profiles has unearthed a preference for rail travel on the part of subversives and insurgents.

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