Monday, January 3, 2011

The Backdoor

Service Fiscal : Rue du Versoix Crossing : Ferney-Voltaire, FR

This Service Fiscal station located on the Rue du Versoix at the border of France and Switzerland is called a variety of names by locals. The Backdoor, because this station and its Swiss companion just up the road are rarely staffed, compared to the larger border crossing over by the airport. Others called it the Smugglers' Route or the Pirates' Route, because you can generally get across the border without being stopped or asked if you have items to declare. When it is staffed, the Swiss border patrol guards are affectionately referred to as "The Butter Brigrade" because they're generally stopping Swiss housewives who've been in France buying French butter. Occasionally, there are armed police or military and K-9 units at the border, but that's pretty rare and it's usually because someone has broken the law and is trying to flee the police into the neighboring country.

The French border station at the entrance of Ferney-Voltaire, FR

Photo copyright: Janet Kincaid, 1/11

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