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Strange borders in the valley of the Lützel:
South of Basle in the Laufenvalley in the village Laufen itself (canton Bern) a sideroad to the right leads along the river Lützel to Porrentruy (JU) in Romance Switzerland.
After 6 miles this road becomes the State Boundary and often the linguistic border between French and German dialect area for 7 miles before getting back to Swiss territory for good.
North of this road (in France referred to as D21) it is the southern Alsace county of France (mountains and mountain ranges called 'le Glaserberg' and 'le Grand Kohlberg'),however no real built-up area there, the south side (=Switzerland) however offers a lot:
Through the valley Laufental (BE) we get to Kleinlützel (SO), an exclave of the canton Solothurn, and that's where the fun starts: the road enters France and Switzerland and back again, without any visible border patrol or immigration, almost like "Schengen", however upon turning north we encounter French black-white street sign posting, while it is Swiss blue-white to the south.
Roggenburg (BE) an exclave of canton Bern is only to
be reached via this road. No customs officer or patrol,
just information bill-boards politely and without
engagement informing that the nearest customs-office is
in this or that location.
Small village: A big hotel and conference centre plus a French telephone booth of France Telecom and a few living-houses. In the middle of it all, a sign showing the coat of arms of Switzerlnad, and just 200 yards further, the place name board of Lucelle, however now in Swiss blue-white, not black-white with red frame!
Behind Lucelle (CH) at the first intersection all on Swiss territory: turn right def. into France: on the D41 via Ferrette (F) to Altkirch (F) after having passed 'real' French immigrations, or into Romance Switzerland: south to Bourrignon and Delémont or west towards Charmoille and Porrentruy.
|Last official Swiss (blue-white) traffic indicator, before the border-particularity begins.|
|Less than 2 miles after Kleinlützel: An international sign, explaining that one is about to use an international road, and in French and German we are infomed that wearing military uniforms is not allowed.|
|This road sign in a close-up.|
|Near the farm called Klösterli (CH) we officially cross the state boundary for the first time. The farm on both sides of the road is in Switzerland, yet beyond it, we spot French territory already.|
|We do reach sort a of a tripoint, when France meets the borders of Swiss canton Berne and canton Solothurn.|
|This road sign in a close-up.|
|Looking back: the Swiss farm yard from the French side.|
|Detail of the road.|
|We continue westwards and cross the river Lützel (Lucelle in French) where we re-enter into Switzerland: the traffic sign indicating the name of the river in front of the bridge is from French production, but at the other end of the bridge, we see the Swiss coat of arms.|
|A few miles further down the road the Swiss village called Moulin-Neuf (=New Mill) to our left, belonging to canton Jura hence not in German-speaking Switzerland anymore, but meanwhile in French-speaking (Romance) Switzerland. Continiung along the river Lützel/Lucelle, we end up in the village called Lucelle (F) finally...|
Old French direction-indicator (black and white) in the foreground, but a few yards behind it: a Swiss place name town-board (=white on blue)
We leave the main-road for a moment and approach 'Moulin-Neuf': on the left we even see an old red-white barrier.
Back to the mainroad: the long distance traffic indicator is of French origin, the red-black diversion sign is of Swiss production.
Upon entering Moulin-Neuf (French for "new mill") from the mainroad.
Upon entering Moulin-Neuf from the mainroad: Swiss and French road signs.
|Shortly after having left the Moulin-Neuf area, we enter France, yet without any control or imigrations..|
|Lucelle (F) (604 m above sealevel)|
However right in the middle of the calm village, we spot the coat of arms of Switzerland on a road sign on the left.
Looking back: the reverse side of the road sign shows the French flag.
Just a few hundred yards further down, we leave Lucelle again, but wait a moment: Now the place name board is white/blue = Switzerland!
Behind Lucelle (CH) a touristic sign reminding us of the Swiss-French walkway called "Trait d' Union" (=hyphen)
BK September 2002
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