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Portugal to Spain: Shortest international bridge


This isn't really news in the sense of something that's just happened, but it's probably news to nearly everyone who doesn't live in Arronches, Portugal or El Marco, Spain.

The two towns share what has been recognized as the smallest and shortest international bridge in the world, as seen above. It's 6 metres long and 1.45 metres wide, and is nowhere near as old as it may appear: it was built in 2008, using only local wood and other materials.

Before that, an unofficial bridge had existed for many years, improvised by locals engaged in smuggling and other pursuits. It was often washed away and quickly re-planked; it could also be quickly disassembled to thwart pursuers.

But after both Spain and Portugal joined the EU and in 1996 joined the Schengen agreement, smuggling came to an end because there were no longer borders or customs rules to interfere with trade. Nonetheless, local pressure led to the building of a permanent bridge, open only to pedestrians and two-wheeled vehicles.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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