Deforestation and illegal trade in South America combine to form a gloomy picture of the Brazilian and Bolivian biodiversity. On the Brazilian side of the border, the Amazonian rainforest remains lush, while the Bolivian side is quickly disappearing.
Bolivia has struggled to allocate resources to keep the illegal logging cartels under control, and bands of “wood pirates,” as they have come to be known in the small South American country, raid the unmonitored forests. The rare and expensive wood is shipped, and coca trees are planted in their stead to fuel the illegal trade.
The Mountain Border of Andorra
Nestled away in a valley ten thousand feet atop a mountain range in between France and Spain is the microstate of Andorra. The minuscule border of Andorra runs for fifty-seven kilometers along the French side to the north and sixty-four kilometers along the Spanish side to the south.
The country itself forms a sort of border between France and Spain as it is not a member of the European Union. Andorra is the second microstate with which France shares a border – the other being the Principality of Monaco.
Col Agnel is, without doubt, one of the few European borders that has seen a herd of elephants marching through it when Carthaginian general Hannibal brought them through as part of his war party. The ancient border post of Col Agnel lies high up in the Alps between France and Italy.
The checkpoint claims the title of being the highest of the international passes that run through the mountain range of the Alps. It's also the third fully paved border post in the Alps.
Christ the Border Redeemer
Standing at one hundred feet high and ninety feet across, Brazil's colossal “Christ the Redeemer” statue is an international icon. Argentina and Chile followed the divine inspiration and erected a statue called “Christ the Redeemer of the Andes,” albeit at a smaller scale. It may be smaller, but it stands at an impressive thirteen meters high.
The symbolic statue represents the peace accords reached between Argentina and Chile at the turn of the twentieth century. The statue’s journey to its final station at twelve thousand feet in the Andes was a logistical feat.
Walking across the Bastei Bridge is sure to cause geographic confusion. The bridge itself runs along the Bastei ridge, a natural rock formation in Germany. However, the region is in an area of Germany called Saxon Switzerland – almost one thousand kilometers away from Switzerland!
Walk a distance over the bridge, and you will find yourself in Bohemian Switzerland, which, confusedly, happens to be in The Czech Republic! The Bastei trails lead between the borders of Germany and The Czech Republic, very far away from anything Swiss. The bridge draws thousands of tourists a year.