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Poster: A snowHead
Sun 22-04-18 22:27
Replies: 216
(stopping today for a swim in Lac D'Annecy on the way) Is this punishment for some misdemeaner?
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sun 22-04-18 11:59
Replies: 14
My guess is they have consoldated a load of departures for different flights onto the same coach and the depature time represents a generous allowance for the first depature. To the chalet operator getting you out of the chalet as soon as possible so they can clean must be very attractive. To them you leave at a particular day having you sitting around for 5 hours at the airport is no concern to them.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Thu 19-04-18 14:20
Replies: 34
Alagna has 350-500 beds and a huge ski area (forget about the km of pistes!) - great value! You could say the same about Vaujany
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Thu 19-04-18 14:11
Replies: 28
A few years ago I had a heart attack a few days before going on holiday. The Avios we booked the flights with were returned minus a small charge. IIRC the biggest loss was the prebooked parking at Gatwick. In total the loss was less than the excess on the travel insurance. Cancelling a holiday is not always as expensive as you think. The airline will often return the taxes and surcharges on the flight, which can be a lot, and the hotels will often not charge you if you cancel in a sensible time. I think I would be more upset if my child had broken both legs in multiple places than having forgot travel insurance. Worse still is an uninsured medical emergency abroad which can be extremely expensive. It can be but a EHIC may cover almost all medical emergencies in Europe. Having said that I do have annual travel insurance.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thu 19-04-18 11:19
Replies: 16
Despite flights not yet released I've found that accommodation in the 'snow sure' resorts below is either already full and/or very expensive: I would be suprised if most of the apartments have been released yet. I know we have not even been asked if we are releasing ours yet. Be patient. Lots of low price accommodation will become available for the week you are looking for even in the resort. Since you are planning to go before the Easter holiday period I imagine it will be just about the cheepest week of the season. May I suggest you add Bourg st Maurice to your list. It is only a half hour drive to Tignes or even quicker funicular trip to Les Arcs, or even a short drive to La Rosiere, all of which in my experience have pretty good snow in mid April. But a word of warning the parking chages in the French resorts are typically 10 euros a day and lift pass prices are eye watering.
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Wed 18-04-18 8:44
Replies: 987
@snowcrazy, Sorry to hear of your mishap. I hope you recover quickly and well. It has been a great season. Thank you for your posts they have been very interesting. TBH in roughly 30 years of skiing I cannot recall so musch good snow. No I hope the snow clears quickly so we can start the VTT season without cycling across snow and can walk up to the huts without trudging across soft strength sapping stuff.
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Tue 17-04-18 9:55
Replies: 987
@Griggs, My neices used Altibus this Easter https://www.altibus.com and paid about 70euros one way. However the web site says with a group of 4 people it is 131 euros each for a return trip. The last time my wife transfered from Geneva to Les Arcs she used SNCF and the funicular. I think it cost about 30 euros each way.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Fri 13-04-18 10:56
Replies: 490
It does appear to be the norm for French cars, when overtaking, to bunch up and have their indicator going. I believe the French highway code says that when overtaking you put your left indicators on and keep them on; then put the right indicator on and pull in.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Fri 13-04-18 10:34
Replies: 490
BE or NL registered cars B or NL registered cars. To the best of my knowledge there is no BE international vehicle registration code. As an aside why do all Belgian registration plates begin with the number 1? Is it something to do with the class of vehicle? The breakdown recovery people called us on Tuesday to say they should repatriate our car in the next 10 to 14 days.
And post your own questions...
Thu 12-04-18 23:16
Replies: 490
Got my atmb toll bill in for trip from Calais to VT at easter. We went via belley D1504 so missed out Geneva and Lyon. I cannot see how you would get to Geneva going to Val Thorens from Calais? Or in fact Lyons.
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Thu 12-04-18 18:22
Replies: 490
Best bet is to lobby the government to arrange our Easter breaks at different times to the belgies Very Happy Very Happy I suppose you will have to lobby the pope. Or are you suggesting that the state religion in the UK should be changed to the orthodox church?
And they're a friendly bunch.
Wed 11-04-18 10:31
Replies: 490
@Michelle63, We noticed that the car satnav would often try and take us off the motorway (including one that wanted us to leave at every junction and rejoin the mototorway a couple hundred metres further along (something many Belgian drivers do). Then I realised that the satnav was using the wireless broadcast that said the motorway was closed or had very heavy traffic and was trying to bypass the jam. Afterthat I always went back to my old motorcycle days and memorised the route (and like @Hells Bells, used google maps to get real live traffic condidtions). The bit that gets me on the Frech motorways is the habit of some drivers to hang back. There I am pootling along in the inside lane and approach a lorry ahead. I look in the mirror and see a car approaching quickly in the outside lane and of course switch off the cruise control to wait until it passes before overtaking. The car in the outside lane then gets almost level with me and slows down dramaticaly so now I cannot pull out to overtake but have to brake to a crawl to let it get past and then crawl along behind it until it pulls in (at least it is French so will pull in) then reset the cruise control, overtake it and continue on my way. I am not sure what it is all about but happens when I'm driving Uk or French registerd cars. @Cheesie168, if you think the road surface on the M20 is bad try the road to Tignes. It has taken a real hammering this winter.
You know it makes sense.
Tue 10-04-18 14:25
Replies: 490
@Hells Bells, I rarely go at peak times - it is usually early hours of the morning mid week, but my wife says travelling peak times is usually much more reliable. I think they have a policy of cutting trains during the night if they don't have enougth cars to go on them - or they are doing engineering work on the tunnel. I think in all the times I have used the tunnel I have only got one once that left within 30 minutes of ariving at the gate and that was on the way out this easter when we arrived a bit late for our scheduled departure. And that took 40 minutes to get across and then 10 minutes to unload. So my best time for arriving at the tunnel entrance to leaving the other end is 1:20. The worst is over 5 hours. Most are between 2 to 3 hours.
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tue 10-04-18 12:50
Replies: 490
Given at best it's probably a 12-14 hours via the tunnel anyway. It's never that quick. The best ever I did it in is 14 hours when we got onto a shuttle immediately. The normal journey is 9 - 10 hours Les Arcs to Calais. 2 to 3 hours at the tunnel 4 hours from the tunnel home. So 20 hours wasn't too bad. It could have been much faster if the car hire in St. Quentin was open when we got their and a hire car was available at Dover. Oddly our "plunder" consists largely of uneaten food. As for keeping people entertained - my son has always (and still does even though he is now in his 20s) slept all the way as does my wife when I am driving. I am the only one being entertained - audible books and then only when I am driving
Poster: A snowHead
Mon 9-04-18 18:30
Replies: 7
I'm not sure if this applies to La Plagne but in Les Arcs it is possible to get restricted area passes. For example I discovered that a full day Arc 1600/1800 pass is cheeper than a full area 1/2 day pass, which is also cheeper than a Paradiski pass for 1/2 day (if such a thing exists). The lady in the lift pass office happily explained this to me last Wednesday All in all, few areas match Paradiski for cruisy blue runs. Lots of not too scary red runs too. Enjoy. It also has some of the scariest red runs in the world. If you are not competent on bumps then I suggest you stay clear of Claire Blanc and Malgovert. If firm snow scares you then Combe can be exciting first thing in the morning. In fact I have jsut returned from the Dolomites and non of the blacks there match this beautiful trio. The blues down through the forest towards Les Coches are real cruisers but they can get heavy towards the end of the day in April.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Mon 9-04-18 16:34
Replies: 490
The Kaiser made a big mistake when he invaded Belgium on August 4th 1914. If he had moved at Easter then he would have found the country empty and no one would have noticed hence averting 2 world wars. (OK I know Franz Ferdinand was not assignated until July and that part of the elements that started the war to escalate was that everyone was on holiday when he was assasignated with poor communications)
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Mon 9-04-18 16:14
Replies: 490
Glad to read about the universal disdain for Belgian drivers It was only recently that Belium introduced driving tests. I used to have a Belgian friend who proudly boasted that he had never taken a driving test.
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Mon 9-04-18 16:10
Replies: 24
I suspect it a combination of things: Easter is very late April 21st and most TO do not operate that late. The TO wants to use their aircraft for sun routes. Tradditionally the demand for late season bookings is very low, but some real bargins exist. I saw in Sunday's Sunday Times catered chalets being offered in Val d'Isere for next week at £500 per head. My advice would be to leave the booking until 2019. There will be plenty of accomodation. And don't restrict your self to the so called "budget airlines" The bigger airlines are rarely much more expensive for example Lufthansa do Ediburgh to Innsbruck for about £200 return. Of course the bookings are not available yet. It is over a year away.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mon 9-04-18 12:17
Replies: 19
@xandervx, You do realise that in 2019 Easter is very late in 2019 - April 21st and this will be the last week of the season in most resorts. If you are seadling with students it may be better to go the 5th January , which is usually the cheepst week of the season. In my experience you are more likely to get good snow in early April than early January, but you do have to choose a high resort and inevitably these are more expensive.
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Mon 9-04-18 10:41
Replies: 490
@ringingmaster, I bet the horse wasn't very happy. There he was standing peacefully minding her own business Then the roof gets torn off and it realises it will have to walk home. I wonder if the driver forgot they were towing a horse box? I suppose a big fine will be chasing them from the anpr camera. I saw a couple of Jams caused by cars trying to reverse out of those lanes Incidentally do other people play the "collect the ticket without actually stopping" game? I have never managed to pay without stopping. Perhaps longer arms and getting closer to the booth would manage it.
Well, it's only polite to Register
Sun 8-04-18 18:39
Replies: 490
@Handy Turnip, Cricky. It makes our trip back appear to be a doddle (actually it was all pretty straightforward, none of the party got upset, angry or worried). It was always calm and relaxed. Mobile phones and kindles make this much easier than it used to be. I suppose Geneva is not a bad city to be stuck in if someone else is paying for hotels, meals etc. Let us know when you get back safely.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sun 8-04-18 1:23
Replies: 490
Home at last. We left Les Arcs at 6:30 and got home at 1:00 UK time the next day using 2 hire cars, 2 taxis, 2 shuttle busses and 1 ferry. Now all that needs doing is to get the car home. The breakdown insurance should cover it but at the moment we have to claim 250 euro for the recovery from the motorway and 150 for the ferry tickets. there were 8 foot passengers on the ferry and talking to one man whose car had also broken who had to get to Reading from Dover and discovered the last train had already left and was looking for somewhere to stay for the night. He appears he did not have breakdown insurance and was unfazed by the problem. @Handy Turnip, Hope the kids are enjoying the trip, but I imagine the transfer from Stanstead to Gatwick will not please them a lot.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Sat 7-04-18 20:31
Replies: 490
@Handy Turnip, your story sounds even more traumatic. At least we moving. In some respects it's like a gangster heist moving where we keep moving our bags from car to car to baggage trolley etc
And post your own questions...
Sat 7-04-18 20:27
Replies: 490
The saga continues Now we are heading in yet another taxi to Gatwick airport where we will pick up another hire. With luck we will be home about 1 tomorrow. The car had a dramatic electrical failure which the French garage refused to even diagnose. I am happy it is being repatriated. We were only a 100 miles or so into I ski trip@breeze11, trust you a nicely tucked up in bed. I will post when we get home
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Sat 7-04-18 16:57
Replies: 490
Just arrived at the ferry terminal walked in and bought 3 one way tickets on the next crossing. It is nearly deserted. Still no idea what happens when we get across the channel
And they're a friendly bunch.
Sat 7-04-18 14:16
Replies: 490
The first of the hitches. We arrived at st Quentin at 3 to be told the car hire receiver will not get here until 4. Then a taxi will arrive to take us to Calais Since our Skoda is near by I'll stroll over and see if the stuff we left in it has been nicked yet
You know it makes sense.
Sat 7-04-18 12:09
Replies: 490
@Gazzza, it appears they couldn't begin the search for hire cars until 8 this morning when the companies open. Tbh the proposed taxi to Calais sounds much better to me. Just saw a French car on the motorway. The first one for ages
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sat 7-04-18 10:03
Replies: 490
@Gazzza, we left the skis and as much as possible in les arcs to cut the amount of luggage to manageable proportions. The agents just rang to say they are having problems finding a hire car in France. The train strike has caused high demand for car hire. The traffic is very very heavy this morning. We even came across a queue at a motorway toll. A car had broken down at the gate! It appears that all of Belgium is on its way home. Going past moutiers I reckon over half the cars Belgian and the rest British. No French at all.
Poster: A snowHead
Sat 7-04-18 9:52
Replies: 490
@DJL, no it is the Skoda dealership. My experience of main dealers is that they simplyvwant to replace the largest single unit they can and not actually repair anything. We can probably survive without the car for quite a while so we'll see what happens. I'll keep everyone informed of the progress in case the experience helps anyone else.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fri 6-04-18 21:33
Replies: 490
There are actually quite a few decent restaurants in les arcs. They just happen to be low down not beside the piste. May I suggest the hotel vanoise in vallandry , the pararomanic or cairn in 1600. We had a lovely meal last night in the noveau monde in 1600 last night. It is only 50 m from the combettes piste Apart from the "PONY express" style of travel it is more or less what we planned anyway. The style is not to worry about what you cannot control. This will be the first time ever I have left a ski resort on a Saturday morning. Let's see what the traffic brings. Good night and sweet dreams
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Fri 6-04-18 19:23
Replies: 490
@sparklies, Actually I am not really bothered about the journey back. It'll happen. We are in arc 1600 with an apartment looking directly across the Tarrentaise and Bourg to the mountains beyond. The sun has now left the mountain top. It was a good day skiing today with good firm pistes in the morning and a few sticky places this afternoon and a glorious lunch down at Pre st Espirit.
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Fri 6-04-18 18:47
Replies: 490
@Hells Bells, Yes well the repatriation goes like this: Leave Les Arcs in hire car number 1 at 6:00 Arrive with that car at St. Quentin at about 15:00 and drop that car off. Pick up hire car number 2 at st Quentin and drive to Calais Drop off hire car 2 at Calais and board ferry as foot passengers Pick up hire car 3 at Dover and drive home. A taxi and flight from CdG to Birmingham may have been easier but they have not suggested that. All I hope is I can find the drop off in Calais and get a shuttle to the boat. At least at the moment I am warm, dry and enjoying a glass of wine looking out of the window as the sun sets on Mont Blanc. It has been a beautiful day by the way.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Fri 6-04-18 15:48
Replies: 490
The agency used by our breakdown insurer just phoned when I was on the combourcier lift to say the French garage cannot repair the car by tomorrow and they will repatriate us and the car separately. He seemed shocked to learn I was over 800 km away and will need to drive overnight to return the hire car by tomorrow morning. At least I have a roof over my head in beautiful surroundings waiting for them to phone back and sort things out.
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Fri 6-04-18 12:08
Replies: 987
@Layne, the 2 I forgot were aiguille rouge which I thought was a red and sortie tag droset, which I confess I had never heard of. Setting challences such as all the blacks , all corners of the resort etc is an interesting challenge but I agree queuing twice for the telepherique in one day does test the patience somewhat
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Fri 6-04-18 8:12
Replies: 987
Thanks @Layne, the Mont blanc piste did cut the top of the deux tetes piste. It used to be one of my favourite runs and even after it had been shortened I used to enjoy it. Few people used the drag lift so it was kept unused. Was it really that long ago when the mont blanc chair was extended. Les arcs appears to be slowly removing the black pistes. One next to genepi (called varet IIRC) disappeared a couple years ago. And the one between cachette and roulles vanished when they installed the cachette chair The reason we were discussing Mont blanc was that my wife wanted to do all the blacks in the resort in a day. While trying to recall them I kept mentioning runs that no longer exist. Insistently I think there are 16.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thu 5-04-18 21:36
Replies: 987
@peaklocation, The child getting hyperthermia or frostbite is, perhaps, a more serious concern.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Thu 5-04-18 21:33
Replies: 987
Having a discussion in the bar (le bistrot in 1600) tonight with my wife and son about tommorrow's skiing and I sugest we start with a trip down the deux tetes piste. They both argued that it no longer exists. And lo and behold they were right. It is no longer on the piste map. Does anyone remember when the piste was abandoned? I remember it as one of the steepest blacks in the resort and wonder why it is no longer marked. Incidently we had a meal tonight in the la Nouvelle Monde restaurant tonight. It was excellent. If you are in 1600 in the evening then I highly reccomend it.
And post your own questions...
Thu 5-04-18 15:13
Replies: 490
Thank you everyone for your kind words. At least we now know what is wrong. The fuse box and relays need replacing. We are still talking about picking it up on Saturday. Probably after driving through Friday night in the hire car. I cannot rebook, if necessary, the tunnel till I know what is going on. In the meantime the weather has improved and there was 15cm of powder this morning to stop us worrying about pretty trivial m matters like getting home. @terrygasson, who are your breakdown insurers?
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Thu 5-04-18 10:29
Replies: 490
Still haven't heard if our car is repaired yet. I hope it is repaired some time Saturday afternoon so we can drop the hire car off and pick ours up without incurring any extra charges yet still get home in time for work on monday
And they're a friendly bunch.
Thu 5-04-18 8:38
Replies: 987
My wife arrived at the pre st espirit lift about lunch time to find it almost deserted. (They had come across from the villaroger side). They saw the helicopter and felt the blasts as they were set off . Apparently they had also closed the bois de l'ours lift as well. Making her way back along traverse she reported a lot of small wet snow slides. Later that evening we had s pleasant ski down from the arpette in the dark and on fresh powder. It looks as if it snowed all night and has just stopped. We'll get out soon. The roads visible from our window are all clear. The arpette evening was as usual great fun. Helped by over a hundred university students dancing on the tables at the end. I gennually worried how some would get back they were so drunk. And the young ladies running about outside in their brassiers would catch their death of cold. In the end only half a dozen of us cruised down to 1600 in the moonlight.
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