For just a few euro and an hour each way by train, I visited my 24th country this afternoon. Here is the heavily-guarded border between Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany and Słubice, Poland:
Seriously, though, if I hadn't had a phone with a GPS and cached Google Maps I would not have known exactly where the border was. It's not marked; there's just a two-lane bridge with sidewalks. The border is about 100 m from the German bank of the Oder, with no indication that you've entered Poland until the roundabout on the other side.
The trip started at the newish (1998) Berlin Hauptbahnhof:
And on the way there, I passed through the center of German government, including past the Reichstagsgebäude:
Despite spending a whopping €3,60 on a Bockwurst mit Brot und Bier at the Frankfurt (Oder) train station (ugh), I'm going to find some real food in a bit—food that involves walking some more. Later tonight I'll report on some seriously good Fitbit numbers.
* The question came up after posting this: which countries? So here they are, in order of my first visit, excluding the United States: Canada, the U.K., France, Switzerland, Germany†, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Ireland,
United Arab Emirates,
Norway, and today,
† I'm old, but not that old: I first visited Germany in 1992, which was close to reunification, but sufficiently after the even that no one thought of it as "West" Germany anymore. And I'm writing this from a hotel firmly inside East Berlin as it existed when I was planning my first trip to Europe in the 1980s.
‡ I'm counting the island as one country, even though it's a territory inside two other countries. I feel this is an appropriate compromise, since neither the Netherlands nor France recognizes their bit of St. Martin Island as an independent nation. So: Both Sint Maarten (Netherlands Antilles) and Saint-Martin (French Overseas Collective) are, on this list, counted as one country.