Friday, 21 December 2007

A witness of history

Today, the so-called Schengen free-travel zone in Europe has been expanded by 9 countries. People can now travel all the way from Estonia to Portugal, and from Iceland to Malta without having to stop at borders or show passports.
What a change from 1980, when I first crossed the border from West to East Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie and back. While walking around in East Berlin I remember the strange feeling that I was free to come and go, and almost everyone around me was not. A year later, WL and I drove all the way to (then) Czechoslovakia and Hungary. We needed to get visas and the checks at the borders were very intensive and took hours. In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell and MN and I went to Berlin a few weeks later. The East German border guards were still there at the time, but they were suddenly smiling and joking. Fast forward to today, and places that were formerly (but not so long ago) hidden behind Iron curtains can now be reached easily and without stopping at borders. I feel I am witnessing history being made again. An excellent day for Europe.


sgboy said...

....witnessing history being made again...and also sadly showing your age...haha

Anonymous said...

Hey Sgboy! Careful. We senior citizens can be quite a bitchy bunch. They don't call us "sir" for nothing.

Have a great day in Lee land.

DA in SF