Schengen: to be or not to be?

It was very interesting on our long drive back across Europe to see how things have changed since the acts of terrorism in Paris. Suddenly, the sacred open borders in the EU are no longer with us. Driving from Italy into Austria was no different, but when we crossed from Austria into Germany we had to wait in a very long queue of almost stationary traffic for 35 minutes. The police were very much in evidence, stopping vans and lorries, but waving cars through.

At the next frontier, between Germany and France, we again joined a queue as the road turned into a single lane and we were scrutinised by both police and armed soldiers, some of whom had climbed inside a lorry to check its contents. Realising that we could be held up when we had a boat to catch from Zeebrugge, we checked on border security on roads from France to Belgium. Many roads were shown in red as completely at a standstill. In the end we took a long detour along a road where the waiting time was minimal, and we arrived at the port in good time.

The North Sea was kind to us, (quite calm!) and the checking of passports the next day was no more than we are used to. So did we feel safer? I suspect that terrorists could still easily pass through border security, but there is a reassuring presence.

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