Type of Ray
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Brussels , Belgium
Some thoughts on driving through Slovenia
Slovenia is a shining star , among the round of 10 countries which joined the EU , prior to the most-recent Bulgarian/Romanian debacle.
It is ecologically-conscious , has clean rivers and lakes , 30-odd km of Adriatic coast , a chunk of Alps , under 2 million citizens , solvent economy and has made a success even of joining the Euro-zone , on 1. Jan.2007.
There IS some nagging problem with their concept of Schengen agreement , though.
Which passports and other documents they require and : why ? , for Europeans in European-registered vehicle , entering their EU-country , from Austria ( another EU-country ) is anyone's guess , and changes daily ; this results in queues on border-crossings , which on peak-days can be for an hour or longer...however , at least , I am told , they can't really turn a fully-compliant European visitor away , as they can do with Bosnians , Kosovars , Macedonians and others , of whom they might be suspicious ? This : on the major international crossings , I mean ...
However , one sunny Friday , we were in Croatia , the multi-lingual traffic report again mentioned long border delays and yet we had a visit planned , to meet friends in Slovenia and pursue local gastronomy together ;
no problem , having first gathered some local insider-info , we quickly selected a lesser-frequented border crossing , which Slovenes and Croats use daily , having only to produce their local I.D.-cards ( i.e. in breach of said Schengen agrement , Croatia NOT being a member of EU ! ) ; no queues there , amazingly even : the Croat police waved us through !So far , all looked good...
If only the life would be so simple and kind !
The surly man in grey uniform , on their side of the border , signalled us to stop ; he could speak some English and some German ; besides our British passports , he also needed "documents" for the U.K. registered vehicle , not only Certificate of Insurance , but written proof that the car was currently registered and taxed and some written proof of Ownership , for kryssakes !
The round U.K. windscreen token didn't impress him at all ! We produced the service-book , showing name and address of myself/owner . He walked around the car , checked the tires even , looking possibly for any sign of it being unroadworthy ? The negotiation took over 10 minutes , until he allowed for the possibility that the car might indeed be ours and is neither stolen , nor in any other ways illegal ( N.B. we are talking about a recent-model C-class Merc , in fairly clean and good shape here ) ; after a warning , not to ever use "small" border crossings again in the future , he finally allowed us into his EU-country...whereupon our empty boot got searched , by a customs official .
( Luckily , nothing could be found in there , that could attract customs duties ! )
Serves us right , for intending to hand over our good money , in less than a "properly sorted" place ?