Latvia - Russia IV


Zilupe Area

After spending the night in XXX near Ludza, I drove on Sunday morning very early to Zilupe. Nowadays there is a big border crossing connecting the Latvian A12 with the Russian M9. This border crossing however was not so interesting for me. I went to the old border crossing, about 5 kilometers north of the new one. I think it was closed when the A12/M9 crossing came in operation.
Close to the old border crossing there is also a railroad crossing. So I planned a hike from the old road to the railway crossing and back.

III-1 20140407 X-ray installation
On my way to the border crossing, I crossed the railroad near Zilupe. I saw the X-ray installation on which trains can be checked. There is also a bridge to have a look at the top of the wagons. Notice the multitude of cameras!
III-1 20140407 Border cordon station
I approached the border by the old road on this very silent early Sunday morning. The road was not in use anymore as it was dead-ending. Some hunderds of meters in front of the border I saw the office of the border cordon. No doubt they will have noticed me immedeatly. When I stopped my car, they already opened the gate for me. So I stepped into the office with a big smile. At least four border guards were sitting there, drinking coffee. I spent there half an hour. Although I had that permission, they were a bit suspicious. Many phonecalls were made. My visitcard mentioning 'International border expert' in combination with the e-mail in which the Latvian embassy in The Hague was mentioned by the Head of National Coordination Centre were not of a great help. I don't understand one word Latvian, but I heard several times "International Border Expert" during the phonecalls. Besides that they read out the English e-mails through the phone. Probably to a higher placed colleague far away who might understand it. I think they imagined I was quite some one! In the end I was escorted by a femal Border Guard, they didn't let me go alone along the border. The woman didn't speak that much English but it was all right.
III-1 20140407 Old road to the border
In the earlier days this was this road was leading to Russia. Now the road ends dead. The last hundreds of meters are not accessable as it's closed by a barrier.
III-1 20140407 Border crossing
The road is interrupted by a sand strip. On the right you see the remains of the dismantled signs that once welcomed you in Russia.
On the Russian side the asphalt road changes quickly into a sand road.
III-1 20140407 Border
A look at the right. The border goes a bit uphill to the south. On the top of the hill I found the borderpoles 80.
The orange signs is the last warning not to go one step further.
III-1 20140407 Borderpoles 81
Near the border crossing this pair of poles 81.
III-1 20140407 Borderpoles 80
We went right uphill. There I found this pair 80.
III-1 20140407 Looking back
The view from the hill towards the old border crossing.
III-1 20140407 The shed
Very close to the border poles 80 there is a Latvian shed for border guards. I made a close-up picture of it, but the escorting border guard ordered me to delete that picture. This picture however was OK for her.
In the background you see the course of the boundary: one streight line to the railroad.
III-1 20140407 The course of the boundary
More in detail: one streight line in this hilly area. Beautiful! On the Russian side there is a wide bare stroke.
III-1 20140407 Borderpole 79
Finally I reached the railroad. The tracks are a bit higher, on a kind of an enbankment. There were some wooden stairs to reach it. Also on the Russian side there are there stairs.
Also on the Russian side, there is a mast with two cameras. The first Russian cameras I saw!
III-1 20140407 Borderpoles 79
Near the tracks on the embankment.
III-1 20140407 Borderpoles 78 and 79
Full view. On the left the pair 79, on the right the pair 78.
III-1 20140407 Borderpoles 78, close up
Close up.
III-1 20140407 The other side of the tracks
The bordewr contiues in a traight line towards the new border crossing near Zilupe. However, from this point we went back. On the background you can see a Latvian watchtower. Later on this day, I would find another similar one.
III-1 20140407 New border crossing
After the successful visit to the old border crossing area, I went to the new crossing.
As I was already araid of, they didn't let me into the custom area. After waiting for 20 minutes, it was "Njet".
No problem, this wouldn't be that interesting.
I went down to Šeški to the tripoint Latvia - Russia - Belarus.

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