Friday, March 17, 2006

Check Your Passport

Today my passport is out for my return trip back to Atlanta, via Paris and then Washington, DC, for an overnight, before I arrive in Atlanta tomorrow morning. One of those frequent-flier circuitous routes again. Donica left for Amsterdam yesterday and will fly directly home tomorrow, arriving in the afternoon. Not quite crossing ships in the night but close!

Anyhow, the passport got me thinking. Did you know that if ever you go to Berlin and do the touristy thing of visiting Checkpoint Charlie, one of the three crossing points between East and West Germany during the Cold War, you can actually get your passport stamped with 4 stamps--2 from the Allied side and 2 from the DDR/Soviet side! I did exactly that when we were there almost a year ago. I think it was maybe 5 Euros for the 4 stamps and certainly seemed worth however gimmicky it might have been.

Ironically (and I just now noticed it), on the left side, where the 2 Allied stamps are, I also have an Atlanta stamp from being admitted back into the US last November. On the right side, with the 2 DDR/Soviet stamps, I have a stamp from Paris when I arrived this Hannover trip on March 6th. Paris was an Ally during the Cold War, of course, but the connection is Europe.

Just one of those bits of trivia on a passport day! You can "Checkpoint Charlie" your passport if you happen to be in Berlin. And if you have your passport with you (Donica didn't)!

Oh, and speaking of trivia, HAPPY ST. PADDY'S DAY!


  1. Gosh, I don't think I have a single stamp in my passport. Need to get some! :-)

    And Happy St. Patrick's Day to you too. Have a safe trip back!

  2. Me either. I want Checkpoint Charlie stamps. That is so cool. Can't imagine what it felt like standing on the spot where so much intrigue and danger took place.

  3. That's great. Didn't know you could get them. We might be going to Berlin some time this year for a long weekend, so I'll make sure to get my passport stamped :-)

    Have a safe trip back and happy St-Patrick's day to you as well!

  4. Garland and I just received our passports last week for the first time! We've never been anywhere to need them--until 2 months from now!! :)

    I didn't realize how exciting I would find it to actually receive it, and now the anticipation of "stamps"--you're wetting my appetite, Boots!!

    Katy and I went and applied for her's this past Monday for her month to Guatemala this summer...she will become a world traveler 22 years before me!

  5. Did you know that Cuba doesn't stamp tourists' passports?

  6. Glad you'll be back stateside for a while! It just feels like you're "here" even though we don't see each other. :|

  7. I'm going to have to do the passport stamp thing too. I haven't gotten a new stamp in my passport since I went to London in 2000. No one seems to need to stamp it anymore.

    Safe traveling blessings to you!

  8. Christina: Yes, Ma'am! And guess what, of all the pages Paris could stamp when I arrived there from Hannover this morning, they stamped on this same Checkpoint Charlie page! I don't think they even paid attention!

    Lisa: To be truthful, the stamps did NOT feel gimmicky at all precisely because of how "historical" that place felt. You could FEEL it. I hope you can go there and get stamped some day.

    CS: You, too! We didn't know anything about it either until we were on the spot. One of the well-kept secrets, I guess.

    Mrs. M: How fun for you, Shari. Do I know about "2 months from now?" Will you be going to Guatemala with Katy? Did you know Bill and I were in Guatemala City for 3 weeks when Amy was a wee thing? Way to go, Katy!

    Gary: NO, I did not know that. Hmm. Is that because we can't go there???

    Ruth: Yes, I know what you mean, especially when we can chat and e-mail each other. We'll be home for a month and will go back exactly a month from today, right after Easter!

    Dixie: You definitely have to go to another country to get it stamped...unless you go to Berlin, that is, while you're already in Germany. Hope you can do it someday!

    And thanks to everyone for happy St. Paddy's Day wishes and for journeying mercies. I'm in my Washington, D.C. hotel right now at 8:30p EST (2:30a Hannover time, so I'm a bit spaced-out right now :)

  9. Welcome home.
    The weather here (Atl.) is supposed to bery nice today.

  10. Garland and I are touring Ireland and Scottland for 2 weeks with RHS and Florida Voices, May 26-June 7.

    More details to come!

  11. Gee whiz, whenever I come over here I feel like such a slacker LOL. I don't even HAVE a passport. Heck Ginnie, that trip to Atlanta this month was a big deal for me!

    I gotta get out more.

  12. Paul: Welcome to my blog and thanks for your comment. HEY. ANOTHER ATLANTAN!

    Mrs. M: Oh Shari! You are in for a real treat! Good for you!!

    Mr. Fab: You are forever making me laugh, I do declare. I think you do just fine getting to Atlanta. Fine enough for me, that is, and easy for me to say since I live here :)

  13. Hey Ginnie - I take it you had a safe trip back already?

    Very cool facts. I'm just trying to figure out when I can get there to see that!

  14. How fun collecting passport stamps! I have 3 lonely stamps in my passport and haven't been across the Atlantic yet. Thanks for the cool information -when- i find myself at Checkpoint Charlie, i'll know to get them!
    Glad to hear your travels were safe.

  15. Expat: Yes, I made it back safely and with no hitches whatsoever. Thanks for asking.

    Madretz: Most passport stamps, of course, you don't collect in the sense of paying for them (other than your travel, of course). I wonder if there's any other city/place where you can "buy" the stamp as a touristy thing?

  16. why would paris and the us insist on stamping the same page that was already full of chkpt charlie stamps? the do that to me and i have least 10 blank pages...argh

  17. Yes, I know, Tracie! The only thing I can think of is that each page has room for 4 stamps, so if there's space, they use it.