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Welcome to BAARLE – the bizarre town that is stuck in BOTH the Netherlands and Belgium, at the same time! It’s one of the world's biggest geopolitical anomalies, and really makes you question what a man-made border really means! I had the chance to finally visit Baarle a few months ago with my local friend Bram, and here’s the story of our adventure!
PS – The highlight of the story was visiting 96-year-old bartender, Nel, who has been working at the same bar for over 70 years! Can you believe that? If you ever visit Baarle, please visit her and tell her that I say hi!
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Right now I'm standing in two different Villages in two different countries but In the exact same location finally Nassau belongs to the Netherlands and by The hertog belongs to Belgium what's it Like to live here by the lodge because We are enjoying the benefits of two Countries in one Village it's nice and Very easy going and peaceful it's very Fun because you don't need to drop to Travel that far each collection of Belgian and Dutch pockets of land is Actually an enclave which is a country Lying entirely within the boundaries of Another country other examples of Enclaves are San Marino in Italy the Vatican in Rome and Lesotho in South Africa however the barlays beat all of These because it's not just one Enclave It's 22 Belgian enclaves one Dutch Enclave and seven Dutch enclaves within Belgian enclaves are you confused yet Tell me about the history of this place Like how did this come to be the main Story is there was one Duke who made a Promise to another Duke and they Arranged that one would get some land From the other EV acknowledge the land Of the others and it just got some Pieces of land around the bar of the Region and then over time it evolved in A way that one part became Belgium and One pod became Netherlands right now I'm Standing in the Netherlands and then
Surrounded by Belgium and then Surrounded Again by The Netherlands Mind-blowing the border between the two Countries is marked by white crosses on The pavement the white line zigzags Around the block with seemingly no logic Whatsoever so much so that even entire Houses are cut in half by this border The borders here and it goes right in The middle of the door as the law states Wherever your front door is That's which Country your house is in this strange Law plays a funny role when it comes to Paying your taxes if the door is split Then the building technically belongs to Both sometimes a front entrance Cafe Will be a grocery Market at the back Door both Dutch barley and Belgian Barley have their own churches police Stations and town councils the two Governments cooperate on things like Electricity roads water and gas so here We have one of the many borders so we're In Belgium now and now we're in Netherlands you can see how the Border Just kind of goes across the street so These bars are Netherlands but the Chairs were to be in this side it would Be a Belgian bar and you could drink Alco at 17 but this boy you cannot Barley is truly a geopolitical anomaly Where many buildings have an International border running right Through them if you look over here you
Can see that this shop the zamon is Crossed by the border of Netherlands and Belgium everything that's in this part Of the store like the towels for example You buy them in Belgium and you pay in Netherlands So it's a store in two countries the Border goes here and then it goes up the Window And there it is so you can see Because through the store it's a place Where a person might be in the same bed As his or her spouse but sleep in Different countries Ron where are we Going now going to the cheese store Okay try some cheese This is all Dutch or Belgium or both Do you sell more Dutch cheese or Belgium Cheese Wow very fantastic Here that is Smoky and spicy and creamy And fresh as we were sampling Dutch Cheese I noticed that they also make Belgian waffles The Best of Both Worlds In one shop [Music] [Applause] [Music] All right I'm very happy now I got my Belgian waffle should I go take a few Steps away and walk and eat it in Belgium Um So good with powdered sugar on it
Belgian waffles are fantastic you can See the the pose here this is a Belgian Flag and the next one is another one Flag and the next one's Netherland flag They literally just claim their land by Flags how many times a day do you cross From Belgium to Netherlands and back to Belgium not at all but if I go for Shopping maybe up to uh 10 times a day What we have over here is very unique Don't you think it's weird no I think it's weird well okay that's the Good thing about uh foreign people they Think is weird they come here and bring Uh tourism over here they come and see Us and share our way of cooperating Across borders this is the library here And that window is Belgium and that Window is Netherlands so If you're if you're studying at the Library you're literally your neighbor Is in a different country this is Netherlands and this is Belgium we're Going to a bar now and the owner of the Bar is 95 year old woman who ran the bar For over 60 years Hello Hi have we got a drink yeah Um Is it okay if I ask you your age yeah Try for me Almost 96. that's amazing you've been Working here for seven years This country is at war with Germany what
Do you remember from the war Throughout the lifting [Music] Were you scared Of a Um [Music] [Music] How does it feel to live in a place That's literally in between two Countries Foreign Can you see a difference in personality Or or characteristics between the Belgian people or the Dutch [Music] He said foreign [Music] Thank you How many beers do you think you poured In your life If you could say one message to everyone In the world about anything what would You tell them So how much for five beers and a Coke 12 years [Music] 25 for years Thank you you're welcome You can come back sometimes Visiting that ladies bar was the Highlight of my trip to Barley so far I Went back out on the streets and it's Just so strange to walk around this town
I'm telling you that no other place in The entire world has borders as complex And confusing as this one What's Happening Here well we've got Belgium on The right side of the road and Netherlands on the left side so Literally all the time that's Belgium And that's Netherlands another way to Find out in which country you are say It's a tobacco store there and there's a Fireworks store here fireworks is Illegal Netherlands and on Belgium so People go to Belgium to buy fireworks Five steps yeah this is so freaking Weird I love borders and I love Geopolitics and this is like blowing my Mind seriously what country are we in Right now Man I really am obsessed with Belgium right Now the boys are lying somewhere over There so how do you feel that you grow Up in like two different countries at The same time It's a bit weird but yeah that's all do You go to a Dutch school or a Belgian School Oh so you're Belgium can you speak French Do they teach you French in your school Yeah You're about to learn it You're learning French yeah do you think Belgium is better than the Netherlands
Basically Do you think Belgium's better than Netherlands Do you think belton's better than the Netherlands Our last stop of the day was a Fry's Shop because fries are so very famous in Both countries travel tip make sure not To call them french fries unless you Want to get laughed at on the way we saw A party of some sort that has roots from West Africa which was absolutely amazing Then we passed by a bunch of bike racers Through the green fields and finally we Arrived to the fry shop where the girl Working there kindly greeted us on the Street how would you describe barley to Somebody who has no idea what it is how Would you explain it to them so Helping it all in the Netherlands I work At the how do you say Friday at the Snack bar so in the Netherlands they say Freakandel and in Belgium they say Curios totally different words totally Different word but it's the same so Quincy just brought out literally a tub Of mayonnaise can you see this like this Is like pounds of mayonnaise is that is That normal like people like to have That much mayonnaise what's up you want It which one's the Belgium one which One's the best one this is the Dutch one That's the Belcher okay great thank you So much on a scale from one to ten how
Happy are you right now 12. good job why Is it so good Because they are Pretty good you can't come to the Netherlands or Belgium and not have Fries this is what barley is all about Not just coexisting but cooperating even When borders get messy and languages May Separate us we can still be friends and Help out our neighbors if you're a Geography nerd like me then I hope this Video blew your mind and I'd love to Hear your thoughts on geopolitical Enclaves in general now to end this Video on a touching note shortly after I Left barley my new friend Braum told me That the old woman from the bar came Down sick with pneumonia my team was in The middle of editing this video so I Thought she'd like to see the work in Progress cut and give her reaction I know Hello how are you doing well Did you see the video What'd you say She likes it a lot Is everything okay with her health I'm so happy to hear that Well you take care of yourself uh be Well and stay safe out there and I'll See you soon Thank you well thank you well Make sure to subscribe to this channel For more epic travel stories from every
Country hit up my podcast called roots Of humanity and I also have a second YouTube channel where I share more Unseen travel stories until next time Stay safe be well and just go