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Driving to alps - stops en-route

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Suggest a stop enroute, put your foot down on the Autoroute and stop at one of the Hotels just on the Motorway. Time it to arrive late at night and then crack on early in the morning. If you pull over on the autoroute between the peage then you can not be timed accuratly on te time distance between the peages. Always stop around Troyes.
Best to arrive fresh for the skiing.. Twisted Evil
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
12 sleeps till long drive...
Just arranged for my daughter to have the day off on the Friday before half term yippee. So swapped Premiere class Champagne for Beaune...
I am thinking leave Malvern 10 am on the Friday and be in Beaune late for a kip and onto SF in the morning.
Mr Michelin is saying 9 1/2 hours 600 miles so I recon 12 hours may be do-able.
I am thinking that an early start for the last 250 miles rather than 600+ is a better way than original plan?
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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?
Troyes is pronounced more like 'Trois' than 'Troy' - (your 'french' translator was probably Canadian/Quebecois) - phonetically = 'ter-waa'

Tried 'Cheval Blanc' - didn't like it. I think too many English affairs have been consumated in that place and they think that the English people staying overnight will put up with anything as long as they pile on the smarm and let them lie in. Very 'tired' and the food was nothing to write home about.

Le Clos de Chassins or Les Crayeres - Reims, France.

There is also a nice vineyard/cave/chambre d'ote outside Reims that's just the right distance from the Eurotunnel -
Champagne Mont d'Hor
8, Rue du Mont d'Hor, 51220 Saint Thierry
but it's a bit of a bug to find. Don't tell anyone else - it's my little secret stop off near my Champagne supplier en route to the Alps
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RattytheSnowRat, good call, looking for somewhere for end of next month.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
My only stop is Albertville for fuel Very Happy Blue efficiency, the way to go, 2 tonne 4x4 and 45mpg Very Happy
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Boredsurfing wrote:
My only stop is Albertville for fuel Very Happy Blue efficiency, the way to go, 2 tonne 4x4 and 45mpg Very Happy


I wish.. I'm seeing an average of 23.9mpg in the Jaaaaaag. (but I have been using it mainly for short journeys recently)
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My sister and I had a good stay in the Hotel Arlequin in the middle of Troyes (we just drove in and found it by chance, I never book as I never know when I'm going to want to stop). We had a rather splendid "corner" triple room, with very new and comfortable beds and good bath/shower. Very clean - just had a makeover, by the feel of it. Fake "fin de siecle". It's right on the edge of the old town - pleasant place to stroll and find supper. I think the room was about 78 euros. We didn't have breakfast - bought some super pains au raisins at the local boulangerie and ate them with a coffee at an aire 100 kms down the autoroute. Last time I was in Troyes, a few years ago, the entire town seemed to be a building site. Bits still are - they must have spent a lot of money tarting it up.

There's a fair bit of local parking, free after 7pm and until 9am.
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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!
feef - take the wife and kiddies out of the back and watch the fuel economy rocket!!

I'm taking my X-type - which I bought specifically to make this trip - for it's last run to the Alps next season. End of an era {sniff, tear} .... Doubt the Fiat 500 replacement is going to make the distance so it's the Snow Train from now on.

'Bells - glad to be of some small assistance. I have not stopped off for a season or so as I have not been driving but I will this year. The rooms are themed (I am informed the nautical one is the one to go for) and its best to book and check the rates availability. If you want grub, it's best to discuss that at time of booking as the place is a drive away from central Reims (which is actually, one of the benefits, as is the fact that they open up their cave for guests if you want to top on Champers at 'vente direct' prices!). It's all based inside a working vineyard so parking is free and very safe as they close the front gates outside working hours.
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RattytheSnowRat wrote:
feef - take the wife and kiddies out of the back and watch the fuel economy rocket!!


It's just me and my boy. No wife to think about.
And while he's only 2... he does go 'wheeee' when the foot gets buried in the carpet. (it's an x-type as well, the 3.0 V6 Sport so no slouch)
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RattytheSnowRat, just waiting for them to confirm eating arrangements before I book. The room they've offered me is Coloniale, which looks very nice.
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Bells - nice one - that's the one I usually nab! Depending on which way you are arriving, of course, when you turn off the charmingly named Autoroute des Anglais (A26) to hit the Rue du Mont d'Hor it can be a bit tricky so don't rely on sat nav - get the route from google maps and print it out or use a French road map. Best way to do it is A26 - D944 - D26. Also the last time I was there they did not make much of effort indicating the place. The first set of gates you hit after the 90 degree right turn in the D26 is the entrance - set of double gates with a gatehouse/house on either side (it's almost straight ahead on the bend). I do drink their champers which is quite nice but my real supplier is in the next village over - Merfy. If you are interested in that tell me and I'll put you in touch.

feef - (1) that's the type I have (in silver) (2) sorry to hear you are teaching your son your bad habits on the throttle (which may explain the fuel consumption) but glad to hear he has inherited your addiction to speed and (3) the 'wife and kiddies' ref. was to a performance by Mr Alexi Sayle, Esq., sometimes known as the Jag sketch - if you get a chance, look it up and you'll get what I meant.
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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.
So now the holiday is over, I have a few stop over suggestions suitable for anyone not wanting to use the Formule 1. All are close to or have good restaurants.

Hotel Berceaux in Epernay. Parking on the street outside or in public car park close by. There's a reasonably priced bistro and a michelin restaurant in the hotel, and plenty of other options in town.


Hotel Wilson in Dijon, just on the edge of the city centre and within a 5 minute drive of the autoroute. Fabulous Michelin star place next door, Stephane Derbord and hotel does a package with them for dinner. 10minutes walk into the city centre for lots of bars and restaurants.

Auberge du Lac , Mesnil St pere, close to A5/a26 junction, not far from the Hotel Val Moret, near the Lac d'Orient. Nice food, if a little expensive, considering this one did not have a Michelin star. Quiet location, one for the journey home and an early night.
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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
Probably not real helpful to most folks on here, but just booked a place for 50 euro just outside the Geneva Airport, in France for Friday, 15 Feb...

puts me within shouting distance of Megeve, final destination..
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
HeidiAmsterdam, is that the Stars Hotel in Ferney Voltaire? I stayed there when it was a Formule 1 but I believe it's gone downmarket a bit since then. wink
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Could be...

it's this one:

http://www.medianhotels.com/hotel-median-geneve-aeroport

I'm not bothered. I reckon I'll be showing up somewhere around midnight, and leaving 7 am to try to be ahead of the crowds for the last bit to Megeve... After a full day, and 9-10 hours of driving, as long as I can be warm and horizontal, I'll be good. I'll have sleeping bags in the car, just in case.

The reviews weren't great, some bad ones in fact, so I've managed my expectations down...but I'll only be there 8 hours max, and the point is to be on the mountain first thing Saturday. I've got to get some ski's adjusted and buy the lift tickets too... I will take the second exit, St. Gervais, as evidently there a market every Saturday morning in Sallanches which adds havoc to the mass winter sport migration.

With the comfort of knowing, that after that, it's going to be all good...
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 Poster: A snowHead
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HeidiAmsterdam, no, it's not that one - that looks a good find. As for the route, there is a short cut which cuts out both Sallanches and St Gervais (the latter can be very slow to get through, too). It's hard to find and not signposted - I was put on to it by a snowhead, some years ago.

If you look at google maps there's an unclassified route up through "le Fayet du milieu" and "le fayet d'en haut" between the D1205 and the D909 "Route de Megeve". If you can find that route it could save you a fair bit of time. It's narrow and twisty, with quite a few local houses along it - it's not a mountain track. You'll need a good map, or possibly a satnav would take you that way if you gave it the right waypoints.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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pam w,

I think I know which one you are talking about, and that's the one I plan to take. It's like, after you get off the freeway for St. Gervais, by the Hypermarket, you go right, instead of left towards St. Gervais, then after a couple of kilometers, left again up that windy steep road, then that eventually feeds into the main road up to Megeve from Sallanches.

Is that the one you are talking about? Or is there another shortcut? But indeed it gets you out of the Sallanches grid lock.
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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?
HeidiAmsterdam, There is another way onto the shortcut than the one you describe. Turn left at the hypermarket, then right at the second roundabout in Le Fayet.

The traffic into Megeve was gridlocked back to below Combloux last Saturday afternoon but it was fine in the morning.
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rjs,

oh...OK, I know where you are talking about, then you miss Combloux all together, which is another sticking point...

I've not been up that road, but I'm sure I've seen it and I know which one you are talking about. I guess that takes you up to that higher road which connects St. Gervais and Megeve...

If everything goes as planned, I should be passing the Casino in Megeve around 8.15 Saturday morning... in the hope, that I'm ahead of the traffic (on the road and on the lifts wink
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rjs, pam w,

I've checked this on the map, but just wondering, if ultimately I want to end up in Megeve, and not St. Gervais, is better to lean towards the St. Gervais side until I reach the D909 or be even more adventurous and try the other 'things' called chemin's...knowing these don't necessarily mean it's a road. But not having driven that bit, I don't know what's really there.

And of course, once you approach the Princess lift area, there is nothing more to be done about avoiding traffic, from that point, it's just one road in, one road out...correct?
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Quote:

once you approach the Princess lift area, there is nothing more to be done about avoiding traffic, from that point, it's just one road in, one road out...correct?

yes, I think that's right. the way that goes up through Le Fayet d'en haut and milieu is a perfectly OK road, just local and small, and misses out Sallanches, Megeve and Combloux. It hits the D909 in the "Robinson" area, near the hotel place of the same name. I think it was rjs who told me about it.

You will need to be in Megeve early - I'd be inclined to leave the hotel in Gva at 6 rather than 7. Might be overkill, but..... this Saturday is going to be a lot worse than last Saturday, which wasn't French holidays.
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HeidiAmsterdam wrote:
And of course, once you approach the Princess lift area, there is nothing more to be done about avoiding traffic, from that point, it's just one road in, one road out...correct?

I guess you could always head back down to Combloux then take the D311 into Megeve.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Thanks pam w

Presumably a 90 minute drive or so? Without traffic.

I will aim for 6 am, and hopefully I will be actually driving at 6.30 am, stop off at the McDonalds in Annemasse for coffie and something with an egg on it - - gotta have my protein the morning, or it's all for not, then the last mile(s).

Even if I hit 'some' traffic, it won't be the train wreck that is sure to come after me....I just don't want to lose 3 hours, 30-45 minutes, I can live with.

I know it will be bad, and every year until now, my kids had the Friday before the hols free, so we avoided most of it. This year we don't get a 'study day', but a 'study week' = 2 weeks of skiing, including weekends. I'm still 8 skiing days ahead of what we normally get in Feb, so finally, it's all good.
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HeidiAmsterdam, yes, without traffic you should do it in 90 minutes. Good luck. And don't forget to ski through lunchtimes. wink
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pam w,

Oh dear...I still need to work on my condition! The days where I ate my sandwich in the gondola are loooooooog goooooooooone. I'm just happy to be in the mountains, in the snow, and blue sky (hopefully lots of that), and the trees ~

and of course in France, there is good quality coffee, croissants and other nice things... I make my runs, bounce of the moguls, then take a coffee and watch my kids do their tricks in the park...
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HeidiAmsterdam, the thing about lunchtime is that the restaurants are absolutely packed and the pistes comparatively quieter. The best thing is to start early, then have a lunch/snack stop around 1130 am, then ski through when things are quieter, then stop for another snack/drink around 2, when the lifts will be mayhem, with everyone pouring out of the restaurants and the afternoon ski classes starting. Then maybe a short ski, but when I've skied in busy weeks I've packed up at that point.
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Oh... pam w,

I got this one so covered. Here is the link to where we are staying:

http://www.lapetitefontaine.fr/gite/

Notice, I am 50 meter downhill skill to high speed quad chair. I'll stop when I'm hungry or want a drink, and sit there until there's no lift line, then ski down to the lift. 10 meters from my front door is the nearest eatery, should cooking be too strenuous for me.. and as the owner of the eatery, is also the landlord, and I know him, I order at the side door, and don't stand in line...

so, with a long lift line, I just go to my apartment, take a coffee, and chill out in the sun, and maybe get on the internet and post a piccie of the long lift line to snowheads.
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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
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Quote:

I just go to my apartment, take a coffee, and chill out in the sun, and maybe get on the internet and post a piccie of the long lift line to snowheads.

sounds ideal. snowHead The gite looks terrific - have you stayed there before? Which lift is that?
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You know it makes sense.
The lift is La Petite Fontaine. Several nice runs and 'stunts' in the trees for my girls off the lift...one round takes them about 20-25 minutes.

I haven't stayed there before, but I've been there before and I've hung out at the eatery next to it (cheapest food on the mountain by the way), and got to know the owner a bit. I was a bit intimidated to rent it, because it's about 800 meters from the road, so if you had to get out, or you need more groceries, it isn't 'easily' done. But it's cheap enough. Sadly, it's just me and the girls staying there. Sad in the sense, wasting all those slope side beds wink . Price wise, it would have cost me more money to stay in the village, in something much smaller. And I didn't want to share with solo males~ not with two girls of 10 and 11, and that is what was basically on offer. Or younger folks that want to be other people of their age, and the mature folk, typically travel outside the school holidays~ so there ya go.

In the meantime, I have got our dinners prepared and frozen - - just pop it all in a cooler and stays frozen until I get there, then I put the cooler in the snow and it stays frozen all week wink I just can't see myself going to the market every day. Ski down to the car, take off boots, drive 5 km to the store, and then all in reverse with groceries in a back pack. Upon arrival and departure, the owner takes everything with his snowmobile, so it behooves me to get it right the first time.
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HeidiAmsterdam, snowshoes would be the way to do it. Yomp down to the car, take the snowshoes off and do the rest in your walking boots, then walk back up with the snowshoes and a selection of choice groceries in your backpack. the owner is sure to have snowshoes you could borrow? It looks a great place - I'd love to stay there, though I can see you need to plan ahead. And take plenty of good books.
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I think the owner just has a snowmobile...I was thinking about buying snowshoes though...if my timing up the mountain were a bit better, I could hit that Quechua outlet on the way up...but it won't be open when I'm passing by there.

And, as silly as this sounds, couldn't find anything decent in the stores around here, evidently massively unpopular with the Dutch.

But the path down is prepared, it is a winter walking path, so presumably I should be good in my Sorrels... but not doing the morning croissant run though. I am thinking to ask the owner to bring them up for me though, he gets a daily morning delivery from the bakery anyway wink And seriously, there is a whole kitchen 15 meters away...

Well, pam w, if you're around, pop on in a for a night or two or more...I've got plenty of beds left over!

Yes, books (kindle), movies, cribbage and Clue (and wine and chocolate)
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HeidiAmsterdam, I'm not back out in the Alps till mid March, when the holidays are over and hopefully my broken bones are reasonably well mended - but thanks for the invitation. Have a great holiday. snowHead
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
ohhh

*thinks* the Quechua factory store in Domancy opens at 8 am.. I could have a quick shop~

(not that quick and shop belong in the same sentence together), but a worthy tip perhaps, for someone.
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Quote:

not that quick and shop belong in the same sentence together

not in the Quechua factory store, that's for sure. I don't think I've ever got out of there inside an hour. Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
actually, you can rent snowshoes for not a lot.
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ah-hah! Just at ski rental shops? Going to give that a go.

I also have cross country ski's, but no mojo to use them rolling eyes
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Does anyone know this hotel (from Logis de France site) in Reims - http://reservation-hotel.logishotels.com/jreservit/changelangcode.do?forward=fichehtl&langcode=EN - looks fine for an overnight stop, and has a secure car park, which we like, as well as a swimming pool which the kids will like Very Happy Quiet location but easy walk into city. Any experience/views ?

Ideally we are looking for a family room, simple, clean hotel, one night (Friday) en route back to ferry, easy to reach & find from autoroute. Prefer a town or city with something to do/see on the Saturday. Past stops have included towns in Marne (Bussy St George and Torcy) plus Troyes. Other suggestions welcome....thanks
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Montana - the link doesn't seem to work so I'm not sure which place you are thinking of. Reims is a good place to stop, we usually stop there on the way back from the alps.

Novotel Reims Tinqueux has an outdoor pool, clean family rooms and restaurant ok. and is right by the motorway. You can drive from there into town for the evening. However last time we didn't bother going into town as we didn't want to unpack the car.

The suite Novotel in the centre of Reims is walking distance from the cathedral and restaurants but it doesn't have a pool and the carpark is very small. You can park in a multi storey next door if you don't manage to get one of the spaces in the hotel carpark but this isn't ideal if you want to leave stuff in the car.

I think there is a third Novotel in Reims now (used to be Holiday Inn) but we haven't tried that one.
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Montana, it sounds as if you will be leaving your accommodation on the Friday, then spending Saturday sight-seeing in Reims. In that case, it probably doesn't much better which side of the city you stay, but on busy weekends, if you're just getting the journey done as quickly as possible, it's worth looking for somewhere the right side of all the peage gates which cause holdups (ie on the north side, if you are heading back to the Channel).
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Montana, your link doesn't work, but it sounds like it it the Hotel Tambour? ? I haven't used the pool, but breakfast is good, and it's about 10-15 minutes walk into the city centre. Not too far from A34 either. I don't like Tinqueux area after a bad experience there a few years ago (hotel was awful and there were some lowlifes hanging about the hotel (but not the Novotel). Driving into town after a long day on the road doesn't appeal.
Hotel Bristol is in the centre, and has secure (but public) parking, but no pool. I think the Best Western does though.
Epernay is a nice place to stay, but a bit of a detour (20 mins) from autoroute. Some ideas earlier in this thread, and on here www.serrechevalierapartment.co.uk/getting-there . Chalons is another alternative.
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