Saturday, December 13, 2008

Crossing the Border to Canada

Last weekend my husband and I volunteered to help take our daughter's high school band on a overnight field trip to Canada so they could march in the Roger's Santa Claus parade. We chaperoned 144 teenagers. Such fun!

The parade was a huge success, but crossing into and out of Canada was a bit enlightening.

It took us about ten minutes to get four bus loads of kids over the border into Canada. Returning to the United States took much longer--one and a half hours. Those kind of crossing times should make 2010 a lot of fun when Vancouver host the Winter Olympics!

While waiting to clear customs, I had plenty of time to think about what it was like in the past, traveling from one country to another? Did they have early customs crossings?

Since most of my stories are set in Scotland, the border crossing in ancient times that I am most familiar with came to mind...Hadrian's Wall. Hadrian's Wall still stands today, though it no longer used as a military fortification.

Hadrian's Wall was built in AD 122 by the Roman Empire to prevent military raids on Roman Britian by the Pictish tribes to the north in Scotland. In addition to its use as a military fortification, it is thought that the gates through the wall would also have served as customs posts to allow trade taxation.

It seems only logical that there would be other such crossings. Do you know of any? And if so, have you visited them yourself?


Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner December 14, 2008 at 3:17 PM  

An hour and a half! I don't envy you.

Sort of a border crossing: If you ever go on a cruise down the Rhein in Germany (or as I did, on the train above the river), you see castles on each bank and forts in the middle of the river. The baron (or whoever) owned that particular stretch of land would stretch chains across the river and collect tolls from each passing boat. If you didn't want to pay the toll, well, see that castle on the bank above you?

I live in a southern border state, and going to and from Mexico has become quite a challenge. It's never been easy, but now the wait time to get back to the U.S. is incredible.

Cool about the band trip. But all those teenagers... oh my. :-)

Terri December 15, 2008 at 7:16 PM  

Don't try to visit Canada for only a few minutes. They don't like it. My best friend and her daughter decided to go through the tunnel in Detriot to Canada and return via the bridge. They basically just drove there and back. Lori said they made one short stop but they were in Canada no more than 30 minutes. When they tried to get back into the USA, they were asked to come into the office to explain what they were doing in Canada. They spent more time explaining than they did in Canada!


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