Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Easter Drive Down - chit chat

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I m very relieved to see that it is not just my sat nav that is a pain in the backside. Makes me feel much better. Good old AA maps Very Happy
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
These days, knowing the route well, I tend to just use the Sat Nav to give arrival time estimates (e.g. for tunnel check in or getting keys from agency).

But first time I did the drive things were very confusing - turns out the France road atlas had a misprint and one of the autoroutes near Dijon was numbered incorrectly!
ski holidays     
 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?
Left La Plagne 745am sat uk time arrived back in lincoln 120am Sunday 17 hrs ish door to door . Belgium drivers don’t change , started a thread a couple of years back how crap the belgie drivers were . Still terrible this time . Also nearly got vans nose took off by some idiot French p@&#k in a souped up golf deciding he was going to undertake me and cut me up .
All that said it was a great weeks snowboarding in La Plagne and the snow was awesome Happy
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
We drive most years at Easter - to 3V this time and all went well for us 5 - big family now -kids are 20, 19 and 17....still come with us ...free holiday?! Left Rutland at 5.40am on Good Friday and despite warnings on M25 of ferry delays at Dover, got on our scheduled 9.10 DFDS ferry which left on time. Must have been +300 lorries on A20 queuing for the port. Off on time in Calais, refuelled faithful A6 with Diesel at Carrefour, although no real price benefit this year and onto welcome autoroute smooth surface....no concrete so blissfully quiet...kids on headphones, wife asleep, pink floyd on cd Madeye-Smiley.
Stopped other side of Troyes at first rest area for picnic lunch then down to self catering 1 night stopover stop at Montpont-en-Bresse near Macon. Wacky owner had huge woodburner in one corner which pumped out serious heat which was fortunate as house was damp and we were first visitors this season. Was a bit like sleeping in a sauna though until windows opened...slight concern as we could see his adjacent property 20 feet away had burned down due to malfunctioning woodburner...hmmm...relief to get off in the morning at 10 then down to Lyon on A39/A40 so took outer ringroad past the airport which was fine, but volume of traffic caused 30 minute delays approaching Chambery as usual. Once through and despite the attempts of the crazy Belgians, got to Moutiers Carrefour by about 2 to pick up a few perishables to complement frozen meals in the cool bags in the boot.
Stayed at St Martin de Belleville in a chalet 150m downhill from the bottom of the drag lift and snow was really good all week - best Easter skiing in memory. Top lifts shut on 4th due to high winds so had to stay in valley which was OK as we got to know Jerusalem well which was sensational after lunchtime snow and virtually empty slopes. Managed many lower level blue/green runs in Meribel and Courcheval valleys which have been shut or slushed up in previous visits...only went to Val Thorens once which for us was very unusual, but choice elsewhere was brilliant.
Returned skis, boots and clobber to hire shop after a long and sunny Friday 6th and after a quick chalet clean on Saturday morning (we refuse to pay the cleaning charge and take all our own sheets and towels to save £100 or so), set off down towards Moutiers again at about 8.15. Great journey back with minimal delays, despite satnav taking us closer to Lyon and up the A6. Many mad Belgians to contend with but most disappeared at Troyes at Reims toward Luxembourg and South Belgium making the final 200 miles or so more pleasant, despite presence of the speed gun happy Gendarmes after St Quentin. We use the tolltickets liberty-T Box which adds 9% to autoroute tolls but removes those frustrating waits at the Peage....we think it is worth it. Got to Calais port at 5.45 and watched the previous late P&O ferry leave to then get on our scheduled 6.50 ok which left 1/2 hour late, so once off in Dover got home a bit later than planned at 10.40. It was just such a good holiday....can't wait until next year....
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Markab1971 wrote:
Left La Plagne 745am sat uk time arrived back in lincoln 120am Sunday 17 hrs ish door to door . Belgium drivers don’t change , started a thread a couple of years back how crap the belgie drivers were . Still terrible this time . Also nearly got vans nose took off by some idiot French p@&#k in a souped up golf deciding he was going to undertake me and cut me up .
All that said it was a great weeks snowboarding in La Plagne and the snow was awesome Happy


I was shocked how bad they were driving down for Easter. Very nearly taken out by one lane swapping, every accident I saw was a Belgium registered car.
latest report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I didn't want to generalise, but on the way down I also noticed that every car that was a complete **** turned out to be Belgian, 90% of the time. I'm glad it's not just me who has noticed this!

When are such drivers (of any nationality really) going to work out that if you drive in a reasonable and thoughtful manner, then you get there in the same time but with a higher chance of your vehicle and occupants intact?
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@sparklies, 'twas ever thus, I remember the very same from childhood summer holidays. I lived in Belgium for a short while and had an aunt there - whose car I absolutely refused to get into! She never did pass a test until the day she died at a fairly ripe old age, and driving till the end. rolling eyes
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@sparklies, what is a reasonable and thoughtful manner? What is reasonable and thoughtful on the UK roads may not be reasonable and thoughtful on German, French or Belgian roads.

Driving on the left (fast) lane as is not what UK drivers are strong at on European roads (my observation of the last 15 years on DE, FR and BE roads).
snow report     
 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.
@mooney058, there's things that don't have the potential to kill other people but are just inconsiderate and at worst hold people up, and then there's downright dangerous. The driving I saw fell into the downright dangerous category. Regardless of what the custom may be in other countries, there's applying common sense to avoid an accident too.
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
They drive too fast , too close if you indicate to move out to pass a truck they ignore you and baulk you in ... the key is to drive at a steady 75-80 mph and look well ahead, if you see a truck pull out in plenty of time and hold them up or you ll never get out .. Downside of this strategy is they'll undertake you on the inside . Best bet is to lobby the government to arrange our Easter breaks at different times to the belgies Very Happy Very Happy
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

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?
ski holidays     
 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.
johnE wrote:
Quote:

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?



Oh dear , there's always one 😂
ski holidays     
 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
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. Bill was €70.40. would anyone know their bill who went all motorway via either Lyon or Geneva for future reference...btw the drive from bourge en bresse via belley was nice...quiet and useful for getting stocked up and getting fuel...we got diesel at bourg for 1.32
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Was only just looking at it funnily enough. €85.00 on the way there, via Lyon and €84.40 with an overnight stop at Troyes on the way back!? Puzzled
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
blahblahblah wrote:


I was shocked how bad they were driving down for Easter. Very nearly taken out by one lane swapping, every accident I saw was a Belgium registered car.


I'm sorry, but I saw 2 accidents on my way back from Val d'Isère via Reims and all had UK-licenseplates Wink
I even got tailed for more than 200km by a Brit who loved my pace of 160km/h.

But ok, generally speaking we may speed a little on the French highways, but hey, at least we are quiet at night in the resorts Wink
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
sparklies wrote:
@mooney058, there's things that don't have the potential to kill other people but are just inconsiderate and at worst hold people up, and then there's downright dangerous. The driving I saw fell into the downright dangerous category. Regardless of what the custom may be in other countries, there's applying common sense to avoid an accident too.


See, you are applying your understanding of how things should be. If you see faster traffic approaching then stick to your lane, the truck in front of you will only hold you up for not so long, if at all, most of the trucks indeed travel at 65-75 mph in FR.
I all see lots of inconsiderate drivers jumping at low speed to the fast lane ... dangerous and very inconsiderate
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

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.
snow report     
 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?
Quote:

lots of inconsiderate drivers jumping at low speed to the fast lane


Hmm, I believe the proper name is the "Overtaking lane". It's not like the swimming baths where you decide what speed category you think you are in and stick to that lane for the whole time. Whatever other driving faults the French, collectively, may have, at least their lane discipline is good and they only use the outer lane when they need to overtake. If more of us Brits (and the Belgians!) did the same then getting past the odd lorry would be a far less fraught business all round.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
In which national road code is it called an “overtaking lane”? When making a manoeuver (changing a lane is one) driver should make sure that it is safe to do so. In those or similar words you will likely to find in most of road codes. And not “this is how I drive and the rest should adjust because I am right”
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Well, "proper name" according to my driving instructor at any rate...but the point still stands that the outer lane(s) are for overtaking and most national road codes (including UK Highway Code) stress that. They certainly never refer to them as the "fast lane". And also, I don't think @sparklies or indeed myself were talking about pulling out when it is not "safe to do so", but if you are doing a decent speed in the inside lane (e.g 125kph) and approach a slow-moving lorry then it's not unreasonable or unsafe to pull out and overtake it if there is plenty of space before the next vehicle coming along the outer lane. Speaking personally, I always think ahead and anticipate when there is the potential to get boxed in and either ease off or increase my own speed as appropriate to ensure I have plenty of space to pull out into and can then swiftly get up with the flow in the outer lane. However if the next guy is coming along at 150+kph and chooses to press right up my jaxi before I've completed my overtaking manouevre even though they have had ample time to assess the road ahead and ease off if need be, then it is them that is driving unsafely.

You'll also note here that most national road codes also talk about never exceeding the designated speed limit. (NB - I've no particular problem with speeding, per se, as long as consideration and common sense are applied.)
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Ingemar_Skidmark, with you on this. Most of these judgements are personal and unfortunately many drivers are inconsidered or too tired too unaware of other road users. “Plenty of space” is personal as that prrception changes depnding on the speed you are traveling. “My way is the correct way” is the dominating view. Be it too slow or too fast. In a country that allows driving at any speed in designated sections of a highway this problem is rearer and mostly non-DE drivers are nutters because their bring their “correct way” of driving. so before bashing other road users, think about how your driving habits might look to others. In my drving experience there are generalisations I make to myself of how drivers with NL, BE, FR, GB, DE, L plates behave. “My correct way” phylosophy in my statistically insignificant observations is attributable to the NL, BE and GB drivers.
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@mooney058, but that's what I do - I wait until it's clear to pull out and don't barge in at the wrong speed. And like @Ingemar_Skidmark I try to avoid being boxed in like that in the first place in the same way. However, I do find that there are an awful lot of Belgian cars that will pull out with indicating or looking when I'm about to pass them, a good half a mile at times from the nearest lorry, often nobody behind me either, and cause me to have to brake sharply. They expect me to give way in that scenario, but conversely it's usually Belgians that don't pull over or make any attempt to let me in when I'm joining the road to begin with. If that's a custom, it's a very weird one, and just comes across as self-entitled but in a dangerous way.

I'm certainly not saying UK drivers are saints, because they are not at all, but I've never seen such consistent scary driving like this at home (or in France!) The worst crime most UK drivers commit consistently is indeed the dreaded overtaking lane hog. Which is just annoying, rather than potentially fatal.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@sparklies, i did not mean to say that is how you drive. I also do not like the behaviour you have described - simply inconsiderate. My theory is that for NL and BE (countries with high population density and heavy traffic) this kind of driving became the "norm" unfortunately. Some might simply get tired after a long drive from the resort and go into 'ignore all' mode ... none of this is good, fully agree. But in my view 1 in 2 BE or NL registered cars drive as they are nuts. While 3 out of 5 GB registered cars do that too. The only difference being absolute numbers of cars - there are usually more BE/NL cars than GB registered cars. My instinct/reaction to be alert and stress level rises whenever I see NL/BE/GB number plates in front of me, no difference what so ever in my experience.
snow report     
 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.
Quote:

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.
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

I try to avoid being boxed in like that in the first place


I always try to plan ahead but did find myself unable to pull out a few times on drive - do think this was due to restricted view out of rear (stuff!!) and as the French are very good at sticking to inside lane, what looked clear suddenly wasn't.

It does appear to be the norm for French cars, when overtaking, to bunch up and have their indicator going. Which I prefer to the UK approach of flashing lights!

There is certainly an element of different driving per country, from recent observations for example in Italy no-one indicates where they are going on roundabouts
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

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.
latest report     
 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.
johnE wrote:
Quote:

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.


The Belgium number places for cars used to just have a combination of letters and numbers. This changed about 10 years ago and now most plates have the 1- prefix. I think they were running out of letter/number combinations. You still see a few of the old plates. I don't think they are location specific unlike the German plates which have the city code in them (F for Frankfurt, B for Berlin etc)
snow conditions     
 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
johnE wrote:
Quote:

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.


Any idea why French motorways have so many redundant road signs ? On the short stretch from the Belgian border and Calais nearly every intersection has a whole load of speed signs about 10 metres apart, like 90, 80, 70, 60, 50 kmh before the turn off. Surely just one sign saying sharp bend max 50km/h is sufficient. Is it some kind of French Union thing for road signers that dictate a minimum number of signs per kilometer to keep them in work Happy I've never seen this in any other country and I've driven in many.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Much worse, surely is the two HGV's attempting to overtake with their limiters set at 56mph on a two lane section.

on occasion one driver will admit defeat and drift back and into lane 1 however by then a good 10 mins has been added to the journey Skullie
On our last trip the worst offenders were Italian plated. One even starting his attempt at the begining of an uphill section ... French truckers seem much more sensible and rarely get involved in such scenarios...
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

two HGV's attempting to overtake with their limiters set at 56mph on a two lane section.


Not unique to France - A34, A14 and A30 are roads I encounter this on regularly.

They have put no HGV overtaking signs on some sections - routinely ignored
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The Belgians are most probably really nice folk , I've met quite a few on recent trips , can't fault them . Although mostly from the episodes I've seen over the last 3 years , as drivers they are shite . Too fast . Too close . No awareness .

Sorry Belgium ( like your chocolate and leffe though ) Happy
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@johnE,
Is there anything you don't know or pretend to know. ???
snow report     
 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?
Left Pralognan in warm sunshine this AM. Now wet and miserable on the Autoroute du Soleil near Tournus. (via SMS)
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Good run up but now got wipers on flat out near Cambrai. (via SMS)
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Left VT just before 9am, reached the Eurotunnel just before 7pm after taking it fairly slow all the way up. We were offered a 7.36 train instead big our booked 8.20, but mysteriously this disappeared once we were in the loading lanes. We eventually left at 7.50, so still good.

Despite numerous emails and texts from Eurotunnel over the last few days, it didn't appear at all busy - queues never more than a few cars long.
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Eurotunnel was fairly busy today, but to make a nice change they had more than 2 passport lanes open. This meant I only queued about 10 mins to get through, which I think is a record for a busy day.
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I think I lean towards @tomj's assessment. Tunnel not busy despite the texts they sent.

We were late checking in for the 19.20 crossing arriving at 19.02 but put on the next crossing (19.36) and told it was boarding in 3 minutes! A few minutes delay for French passports (actually the delay was for the explosives wipe at security just after passports) and we drove straight round and never stopped moving before we were on board. In Folkestone for 19.01, unloaded a few minutes later and heading up the M20 before 19.15. Home in Colchester at 20.45

Yes, we got the downpour around Cambrai but otherwise completely plain sailing up the autoroute. Delay only caused by faffing in cleaning the apartment and a slightly too long lunch/ wine shop stop in Besancon.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Pretty busy this evening, but no car dance around the extra queuing areas. On our booked 1736, but it's 1753 now.

Passed by SK12BEE north of Dijon this morning, was that one of you lot?
ski holidays     
 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.
We got back yesterday, after leaving Friday lunchtime, okay, more like Friday mid afternoon as packing took much longer than planned for no decent reason. Had a nice clear run to our hotel between Reims and Troyes - took us 6.5 hours and 6 hours of that was driving. The rest was petrol, toilet and driver swaps. Saturday morning another nice easy run to Calais and thanks to FlexiPlus we arrived at the terminal at 1500 and were on the 1520 train. Realised how much I hate British roads the other side, but we were home by 1645.

Definitely going to drive again, it was a lot better than feared. The children largely behaved themselves (judicious use of tablets.. the electronic kind.. helped!) and it's kind of satisfying doing it all yourself. If we change anything next time, it's going to be journey back. Either we'll stop somewhere at the bottom of the mountains and do the big drive the next day so we can make the most of our last day on the slopes (gutting that Friday was the best day of the week and we finished at midday!) or we'll leave late afternoon and go non-stop, swapping drivers. For us it seems to be a total of 11 hours of actual drive door to door plus the tunnel. We seemed to do fine swapping drivers for the six hours and could have carried on like that really were it not for our booked hotel.

On the way down (Good Friday) it was constant British drivers and then Belgians and barely any French, but coming back, until we got near Calais there were no British drivers really, and the only Belgian I saw pulled over to let me out..!
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@sparklies, The Belgians waited until Saturday to go home.
snow conditions     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy