Thursday, 6 September 2018

Sleeping in two countries at once.

On my recent trip to the Continent, collecting material for a forthcoming book on frontiers, I spent a night in the Hotel Arbez at La Cure. The hotel was hurriedly built across the proposed new Franco-Swiss border in the delay between the signing of the treaty between Switzerland and France in 1862 and its ratification. With one door in Switzerland and the other in France, it fulfilled its owner's intended purpose of providing him with a route for his smuggling.

The customs agreements today have removed that advantage but not moved the frontier. This is the bed that I slept in. One side is in France, the other in Switzerland. On a restless night one could make several border crossings without awakening.

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