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Half term drive down - live journey chit chat !

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well, just pulled into Les Menuires. Roads clear from Chambery all the way. Traffic lights not on at Moutiers 1130hrs local, snowing lightly in resort. Roads clear.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Now in the hire car heading from Oslo to Sweden. Lots of snow around us.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@reh_stuff, just been through Montgenevre on our way to Briancon. It looked lovely in the sunshine.

All settled into our airbnb with our lovely host. Smile
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Update: flexipass at the tunnel meant that we got a train at 8pm. Gentle drive down with a couple of sleep stops.

Tailed a BMW from Lyon to Chambery with the number plate SN03 ALL. Anyone here?

Drove up to Méribel at 7:30 as it got light in gentle snow, my 4wd Quattro managed in summer tyres without any issue.

Now done a couple of hours on the mountain and settling in for the rugby
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@jamescollings, summer tyres? Bravo.
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Wow, this thread is a find! I'm planning on driving down to Sauze (albeit not till next year) and already I've got a million and one questions which, reading through the thread, are gradually being answered.

I've had enough of the hassles and ignominy of air travel and since I've always loved driving I reckon it could be a bit of an adventure. Since I always go for a minimum of two weeks it just seems to make a lot of sense.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Late getting up (in Madrid; when in Rome... Very Happy ), chocolate and churros with a couple of cafe leches, then off at 1230(!). Phone the estate agent to say we’re arriving after office hours and get safebox code for the key. West of Madrid, fields of snow. Youngest crying a lot as we go up and down across the plateau and her infected ear won’t pop Sad but got it eventually. Started the antibiotics. Really windy drive, my weather app says El Tarter is seeing 60km winds today, falling tonight thank goodness and not so bad after, but it was probably quite something in Grandvalira today. Now approaching Lleida with clear sky; and crossing Greenwich meridian now!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Headed for Austria. Left at 2030 last night. 3 hour delay at the chunnel, still on the road with 2hrs left!! Whose bright idea was it to drive
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@esaw1, Theres loads of (mainly useful) stuff on here. Using the Search button top left every page, will answer many questions and quite often ones that you hadnt thought of! But do watch the dates of the original post - we had one bumped up from 2003 recently!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
We made it onto the slopes by 10:30 a little behind schedule but not bad, nice quiet day on the slopes here in Les Arcs, bit of sun to start off then light snow all afternoon. At 4 o’clock as we were going up on the new Pre Saint Esprit lift for the umpteenth time, we could see coaches driving up the mountain road and passengers disembarking and wheeling their cases, I felt happy that we had driven.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Got in at 7. No problems on the drive down.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Add it to Samoëns at 7pm. Great drive, zero queues, nearly everyone overtaking sensibly. Kids loved the climb up and through the Jura tunnels. Closes traffic flowed, parked outside the residence and out hunting for supplies by 8pm. Now trying to decide the microwave fan oven combo. Thanks for the company on the way down. Great thread
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
22.30 French time. Ski hire wouldn't let us get the kids kit till 4pm. But we had a nice day, got into appartment at midday spent an hour getting sorted, had a nice lunch till 3, by the time wed got the kids in kit it was almost 4 so we collected ski hire and had an hour warming them up on the free drag in 1550.

Me and eldest then caught England Wales in the bar in 1550, by the time we got back youngest was sound asleep and all peaceful.

I've since eaten my body weight in cheese and caught up on the reading. Loved hearing about everyone's journeys and all the variations and experiences what's nice is once arriving the journey fades away.

Have a great week everyone whose out. snowHead snowHead snowHead snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We had a great afternoon skiing today albeit a bit chilly on the face.

Geneva Airport yesterday afternoon we managed landing, immigration, luggage, ski collection plus car hire pick up within 35 mins. It all went slightly wrong after loading the van when we realised a tyre was completely shredded so had to change vehicles🙄

Great meal and stay at the top end of Lake Annecy at the Clos Marcel if anybody is ever looking for a stop over.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Our tunnel crossing was delayed by 1hr40 in the end which wasn’t too bad. Had a very clear run through to Macon arriving at 10pm which was only an hour after we had predicted, having had one stop for fuel and one for dinner. We refuelled at a very expensive service station nearish to Reims. They did have winter diesel (Total Excellium) there.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Arrived in Soldeu 2030; fresh snow at the side of the road but roads themselves definitely clear. No sign of terrible snow to shut the Pas border as reported elsewhere. Got the keys from the safe on the wall, back to El Tarter, found the place despite the rather vague instructions - turns out it WASNT in the same block we usually rent - and in. Puzzled about the lack of wifi password until wife saw it on a sticker on the TV - why not leave it with all the other printed matter?! A quick pasta tuna and olives, sort everything out into the reasonable storage but unreasonable hooks for ski clothes, girls are in bed by 10 and us by 1030. Up early to get rental skis fitted before the huge queue starts - I hope!!

Night all and good luck!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Slightly annoying delay at Folkestone but reached L2A at 7pm and was in the Polar Bear by 7.45. Only a couple of hairy moments. An FR driver pulled in from the outside lane as someone tried to skirt a big truck from the inside lane - we spectated and thanked our lucky stars they avoided each other (north of Lyon) - then almost collected a Belgian at the L2A / Alpe D’huez junction as he realised he wanted to go straight on having already turned right. Given that he’d towed me up the hill in the dark I forgave him but I’m not sure all the folk behind me who had to slam on their anchors were so sanguine.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Overall a pleasant drive down. Crisp white fields on both sides most of the way. Time to reflect in Northern France on the sacrifice of all the young men who are still buried under those fields without a headstone to remember them. Must take the time next time around to meander and pay our respects
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After years of driving through northern France and saying we must stop and visit a cemetery, we did last year. Got the tunnel on Thursday evening and stayed the night in Arras. Visited one cemetery in the morning before driving to Aix Les Bains. It was a very moving experience, standing in amongst the graves and seeing row upon row stretching away from you, and knowing that’s just one of many cemeteries.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We stopped at the Mazingarbe cemetery a few years ago, as one of my relatives is buried there along with many other Durham Light Infantry soldiers. Very moving. We couldn't help feeling that Uncle Phil would have felt at home there. It was a mining area, and the small row of terraced houses at the cemetery entrance looked just like pit cottages.
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@Hells Bells, Sad Blush j
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We are setting off tomorrow from Val d'isere to drive back to the UK to avoid half term crunch. We are going to stop overnight about 2hrs before Calais - somewhere near San Quentin (looking at the map). Can anyone recommend a simple convenient hotel?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
lynnecha,
I recommend a search on Accorhotels.com. They usually have something for every budget.

We like their F1 hotels for stopovers but they aren't everyones cuppa.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
lynnecha, we stop at Holiday Inn Express in Arras, but going the other way.
(always do the journey back in one go)
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
There is a premiere classe in Bethune. It is only about an our from tunnel terminal though but is v close to autoroute. Bonne route.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Kagallag, @Jonpim, @Bergmeister, really helpful. Thanks.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
No doubt I'm missing something very obvious but reading through this thread everyone seems to travel via the chunnel as opposed to a ferry. Is it cheaper or significantly quicker or easier or......?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
+ 1 for the accor chain https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/united-kingdom/index.shtml
f1 for a crash and sleep but for a bit extra dosh we preferred Ibis level.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
esaw1 wrote:
No doubt I'm missing something very obvious but reading through this thread everyone seems to travel via the chunnel as opposed to a ferry. Is it cheaper or significantly quicker or easier or......?


Chunnel can be cheaper if you go off peak. Not subject to weather or strikes. May be quicker...4 hour leniency window and they do their best to get you on next available.
For us it's a dog thing - we stay in the vehicle with them - if the ferries allowed them on deck we'd consider using them.
DFDS now have dog friendly cabins on the Newcastle- Amsterdam crossing so we trialled that on the way out. Dog area was woeful but jury is out on whether journey down UK roads and M25 is worse.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Scamper, Thanks for that. I'll be traveling without the dog to Sauze but like the sound of being flexible with times. Also I'll probably be doing a summer trip with the pooch so it'll definitely be the Chunnel for me. Useful info.for which Many Thanks.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
4 hour is that you can arrive 2 hours late and there is no extra charge.
2 hours before and they will give you a chance to cross early if they have availability though you may have to pay extra if it moves you into a different price bracket.


Separate note and one that is common on motorhome forums.
You can buy a set of 10 crossings, frequent traveler https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/tickets/types/frequent-traveller/
for which you can nominate a 'sharer'. Might be worth setting up a snow heads ' looking for a fq buddy' thread (general comment not directed at op)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@esaw1, we have used the tunnel for our last winter crossings since early December but that has been unusual for us as we have had a few disasters, huge delays or just not running, so wemtendedmto prefer the ferry. But the last, four journeys on the tunnel have been incident free so the jury is out. Our dog has travelled on the ferry numerous times and just curls up in her crate and they are good about parking all the cars together with dogs and ensuring that there is sufficient ventilation etc. It is a bit quicker to use the tunnel, but we are at the senior end so time is not really that relevant to us as we always have an overnight break nowadays, particularly in the winter and we go for a few weeks at a time.

If we go on the ferry we always go in the lounge.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Scamper, the 10 ticket carnet comes up from time to time and if memory serves someone did start a thread once
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We have used both the tunnel and the ferry with our dogs. Main reason now for always using the Eurotunnel is that one of our dogs was very car sick when we first got her. Although our old dog just slept on the car deck, I wouldn't have wanted to go back to clean up the dos sick, so we just stick to the tunnel now. We've thought about the Amsterdam crossing but it doesn't save us any time at all, as it leaves before we finish work for the day. It would mean hanging around all day waiting to go and check in. May as well be on the road and enjoying a nice dinner in Northern France. I;ve just checked the dog arrangments (I wouldn't be happy leaving them in a kennel on deck), and they only let one dog in the cabins. There was a dog escaped from the dog area at North Shields terminal last Christmas and was never found.

Frequent traveller thread is here http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3173820&highlight=frequent+traveller#3173820
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We made it to Montgenevre at about 1pm after a completely clear drive from Macon. Used our welcome 4hr free lift pass (if you buy 6 days) for skiing this afternoon. I’d definitely recommend Sunday travel for half term, the roads were fantastic all the way and no peage queues. Kids may be ill for the first Monday back at school tho.
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jonathancarty wrote:
Also in previous years we've come off the A42 at Jct 8 and taken the D1504 which brings you to Chambery. It's a smaller road but has never been busy for us and some of the scenery is great, and it's freeeeeee!!! Friends have gone the other way (either down the A6 from Macon or kept on the A42 and then the A432 past St Exupery) and hit traffic on the A43 not far out of Lyon. We've arrived in resort quite a bit earlier and spent the money we saved on tolls on a round of drinks.

The supermarket at Jct 8 has some of the cheapest fuel in the area too.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Oh the joy of travelling against the traffic ... We came home on Eurotunnel yesterday, after driving up from our overnight stop near Troyes, leaving the 4 Valleys on Saturday at a leisurely 10.30am. The roads were almost disturbingly empty northbound. Eurotunnel moved us onto the next train, so only a 20 minute wait at the Coquelles terminal.

Also clarified that it's OK to carry a petrol can (with petrol in it) in the boot. I hadn't been sure until I checked. Our car has a relatively small tank so I like to carry a contingency in case there's a larger than usual gap between service stations, or one is closed. Note that one of the service stations between Reims and Calais is closed so just be aware if you usually fill-up on this stretch.

Also, it's clear that the toilet situation on the Eurotunnel trains isn't getting any better. They now tell you to use the terminal facilities ahead of boarding, if you can.

Travelling north on Saturday, we didn't see any traffic jams on the southbound side, so I'm hoping that everyone made it down without major incident. Previous years, we've seen some horrendous jams southbound at the same time. So enjoy your skiing, everyone ...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@LaForet, as we have to check in the dog at Eurotunnel we use the loo in the animal terminal! And no queue there on Friday morning, whereas when we came back on 23rd December it was mayhem there and in the check in queues generally. Having said that in the end we were only half an hour late that day. This time we were out on a train about fifty minutes early, and our car was the only one in our compartment.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Who said this self drive malarkey was a piece of cake?

After a reasonably straightforward drive to the alps, overnighted at Albertville, my truck developed a fault on the way up to les menuires Saturday morning, nursed it to the apartment we are renting.
Breakdown insurance company sent out a mechanic today, turbo is knackered, and truck will be repatriated, though it will take upto 14 days to get back.
We have to get a taxi to hire car depot on Saturday, drop off car at Calais Sunday morning, board a ferry As foot passengers (lugging our luggage and equipment!!!) then pick up another hire care at Dover to drive home.

All I can say, is it better stop f!!!!!g snowing, surely we deserve a days skiing with nice sunshine Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@terrygasson, Been there done that - be warned the 2 weeks is an estimate! My Jaguar got 'lost' in the system for 6 weeks! I had a Range Rover as a replacement vehicle and as part of the goodwill gesture they even refunded the extra fuel cost from running a Range Rover for the 6 weeks! ( The Jag repair was £3000, done under warranty!)
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