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Half term drive down - live journey chit chat !

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi KK

We are off to Sainte Foy.

Am thinking a 6am leave at the latest. Hopefully that will be ok.

I’m an early bird anyway!

Happy skiing Happy

D

knackered knees wrote:
Hi Dan

No later than 7. A few years ago we overslept and got away around 8:30 and caught in the jams around Bourg en Bresse with the meeting of the A39 & A40. Not an experience I wish to repeat.

As we're heading to Chatel, we'll be avoiding this by taking the Dijon, Besancon, Pontarlier, Lausanne route. Where are you heading?

KK
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Had a bit of fun yesterday. Got a message from my wife, whose car we are going in, to say the windscreen washer spray wasn't working (passenger side), we'd topped it up the previous day with -70C stuff. Anyway when she got home we lifted the bonnet and sprayed it and the jet was just shooting straight out the L connector under the bonnet instead of going up and through the nozzle. Clearly there should be a cap on the end. Belted over to Volvo Leatherhead, who were really helpful but had none around. Fortunately they ordered us one in for delivery today, so now fixed.

The snow and rain forecast for northern and mid-France for Friday isn't great, but what will be what will be.
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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?
@dannyboy23, I guess 6 would be fine. It's not the Parisian half term and you'll be ahead of the British dawn invasion.

Happy skiing too Very Happy

dannyboy23 wrote:
Hi KK

We are off to Sainte Foy.

Am thinking a 6am leave at the latest. Hopefully that will be ok.

I’m an early bird anyway!

Happy skiing Happy

D

knackered knees wrote:
Hi Dan

No later than 7. A few years ago we overslept and got away around 8:30 and caught in the jams around Bourg en Bresse with the meeting of the A39 & A40. Not an experience I wish to repeat.

As we're heading to Chatel, we'll be avoiding this by taking the Dijon, Besancon, Pontarlier, Lausanne route. Where are you heading?

KK
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
@jonathancarty Don't get me started on the EuroTunnel chaos! Last few years we have arrived and just been pushed through onto next available train as they are always keen to keep people moving through.

Its the Saturday evening on the way home that is usually worse.... drive into the holding pattern, car park, lap of compound etc before boarding. if only their infrastructure could cope with the number of tickets they sell!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@pdsguy, To be fair to ET the infrastructure was predominately built over 24 years ago and the adaptations since are generally for security. The delays from leaving the motorway around Calais are for security checks and Border Force and these slow down the whole process.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Indeed. I've just called them and changed my booking forward to the 8.06am train tomorrow, for the princely sum of 7 quid. I figured in light of snow/rain forecast across norther and mid France it's looking likely that it'll be a slower journey tomorrow, so I may as well get up and go first thing. So plan to leave Guildford area around 5.30am now. Anyway whilst on the line they said latest check-in is now 45 minutes before departure. I asked if this was a half term crowd measure, but she said this was now going to be the standard, due to the increases in border and security checks over the years, with 30 minute check in lots of people weren't getting through in time.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
A friend of mine is going to Morzine for a week. He's staying Friday night in Dijon. How will the Saturday portion of the drive be ? I've only ever driven to EK or 3V at half term so know how horrid that can be. Any advice for the Dijon to Morzine leg (i.e. leave early, leave it later, not an issue) and also anything to note regarding the journey back next weekend ?

Cheers
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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!
To all of you going through the Tunnel just out of interest can you check: (and kindly report back here)

What time crossing you booked
What time your letter said on arrival
What time your train actually pulled away

I suspect that all 3 are very different but have never been sufficiently organised to check.

My recent experiences suggest that the 'timetable' is now actually non-existent!

I predict that on Friday night and Saturday there will be delays of around an hour and doubling each hour until 4pm on Saturday!


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Thu 8-02-18 14:35; edited 1 time in total
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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.
New member driving to Les Menuires from Hertfordshire
1st visit to Les Menuires, normally ski Morizine/Les Gets/Chatel area, fancied a change
Wife and 3 kids in the car
On the 03:20 Tunnel crossing Shocked
Sharing the driving so hopefully minimal stops
Only dilemma stay on A6 or turn onto A39 at Dijon and through Chambery, Satnav is saying A6 I was leaning towards A39 to avoid Lyon and having read this thread I've created a route on the Satnav via A39 especially as not expected to arrive Lyon until just after lunch and assume this is when the queues will start forming
What about leaving the resort on the following Saturday (don't really want to think about it) whats the queing like around Lyon do most people drive back along the A39 as well ?
Looking forward to it, snow looks fantastic with some additional forecast during the week
AH666
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
A39....
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We always go down via A6 A46 A432 and then A43 and into Chambery. Have never used the A39.
Since the A432 was complete we have never been nearer to Lyon which was becoming stationery no matter what time of day.
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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.
AH666....I think im going to go via the A39 rather than A6.......

queues will be forming long before that...Moutiers is the main bottle neck and sometimes the toll across the viaduct,(cant remember exactly where that is, Villefranche I think)..........

leave resort by 6 I would suggest on the way home
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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
boredsurfin wrote:
We always go down via A6 A46 A432 and then A43 and into Chambery. Have never used the A39.
Since the A432 was complete we have never been nearer to Lyon which was becoming stationery no matter what time of day.

Same here.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
boredsurfin wrote:
To all of you going through the Tunnel just out of interest can you check: (and kindly report back here)

What time crossing you booked
What time your letter said on arrival
What time your train actually pulled away

I suspect that all 3 are very different but have never been sufficiently organised to check.

My recent experiences suggest that the 'timetable' is now actually non-existent!

I predict that on Friday night and Saturday there will be delays of around an hour and doubling each hour until 4pm on Saturday!

On Friday 22nd December we were booked on the 19:20. Arrived around 17:20. Got put on the 18.20. Got in the queue immediately our letter pinged up (which was for the 18.20). The train left at 19.20. I've no idea if we were on the late running 18.20 or just ended up because of the queues through security ended up on the actual 19.20.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Layne wrote:
boredsurfin wrote:
To all of you going through the Tunnel just out of interest can you check: (and kindly report back here)

What time crossing you booked
What time your letter said on arrival
What time your train actually pulled away

I suspect that all 3 are very different but have never been sufficiently organised to check.

My recent experiences suggest that the 'timetable' is now actually non-existent!

I predict that on Friday night and Saturday there will be delays of around an hour and doubling each hour until 4pm on Saturday!

On Friday 22nd December we were booked on the 19:20. Arrived around 17:20. Got put on the 18.20. Got in the queue immediately our letter pinged up (which was for the 18.20). The train left at 19.20. I've no idea if we were on the late running 18.20 or just ended up because of the queues through security ended up on the actual 19.20.


Yes, thats exactly my memory of recent trips, the booked time is just a 'time' with only a vague relevance..


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Thu 8-02-18 15:31; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Gazzza, The Super U in Salin-les-Thermes does have a filling station and there is also an ELF on the right as you leave Moutiers. In the past the ELF has been a little cheaper but would need recent local knowledge to be certain.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
boredsurfin wrote:
To all of you going through the Tunnel just out of interest can you check: (and kindly report back here)

What time crossing you booked
What time your letter said on arrival
What time your train actually pulled away


Good idea. Yes will report back tomorrow. At Easter we usually check in on time, get given our Letter, but then find the letters get slipped back a departure or two, though we sometimes claw one back by being ready to dart around the the departure area as soon as possible. If too early they turn you back, but often when we've been front of queue in the departure area sometimes the first 5-10-15 cars gets let on to the preceeding train if there's space.

Thanks tarrantd - I'll check the Elf on the way past. My wife can always dart back, if the differential is worthwhile, whilst I shop at Super U or vice versa.
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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?
@ah666, ....make the most of the quieter pistes and ski on your departure Saturday. Have a late lunch/early dinner and head down the mountain around 3:30-4pm, overnight around Dijon and catch a lunchtime ET on Sunday! Thats what we now do after years of battling the hoards. Makes for a more pleasant end to your holiday wink
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@Avago, That sounds like a good plan. We ended up with an overall wait of around 6 hrs on the (Saturday) 27th of Jan.

We had arrived in Calais quite early on Saturday evening and we were debating how much we would consider paying to get bumped onto an earlier crossing. Quickly became a mute point. As we arrived at the first check in booth we were allocated to our original slot and eventually left an hour and a half later than that was scheduled to go.

Apparently 3 trains had failed to run in the afternoon and they were still clearing the backlog.

Also, just a quick word of caution. Whilst we were waiting at the terminal we met a couple who were also delayed. They had stopped at a supermarket in Lille on their way back. Parked on a busy carpark full of Saturday shoppers. They returned to their car to find the side window smashed in. Nothing had been left on view and they had their documents with them. The thieves had forced a back seat forwards and dragged a suitcase out of the boot and through the window. They had tried without success to get the window replaced and ended up with some plastic sheeting taped over it.
Then they went to the Police to report the theft and get a crime reference No. for their insurers. The police were less than helpful, especially when they found out that they didn't have their V5 document with them. The wife was a fluent French speaker and they eventually got what they needed (but it took about 3hrs.) They were also told by the Police that thieves in northern France target UK registered cars to try and get Passports, travel documention , ID's.

Don't want to sound too negative..... just putting this out there so take care and safe travels.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
GeorgeVII wrote:
@Avago, ... just putting this out there so take care and safe travels.


Also be very careful/watchful where you fill up on return to Calais. Once the fuel filler is out of the car, make sure all doors are locked. In the summer friends and I were filling a mini bus when within a couple of minutes were surrounded by around 20 migrants. The 8 of us - all ex rugby players - were fairly intimidated and we all though good job we're not a family or too elderly!!!

This was at an unmanned petrol station near the ferry car park. It came up on satnav as the closest. Just be safe Very Happy
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You'll need to Register first of course.
dsoutar wrote:
A friend of mine is going to Morzine for a week. He's staying Friday night in Dijon. How will the Saturday portion of the drive be ? I've only ever driven to EK or 3V at half term so know how horrid that can be. Any advice for the Dijon to Morzine leg (i.e. leave early, leave it later, not an issue) and also anything to note regarding the journey back next weekend ?

Cheers
Morzine, in theory, is easy to reach, with the only non-autoroute section after Cluses (15-20k?)

All depends on the weather. If forecast to be bad (i.e. snow, rain, sleet) leave early, say no later than 630 if possible. In 2014 we just missed the A40 being closed due to blizzard and ducked into side roads for a long, slow, but ultimately successful drive to Les Saisies. You could, in theory, be in Morzine in time for lunch.

A 39 or A 6? A39 may have less traffic but is a smaller road. Monitor traffic and make last-second decision.

on the way back, shouldn't be too bad but Annemasse is often a bottleneck.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
A tip for the tunnel travellers. When you get directed into the car park drive all the way round rather than immediately looking for a space and parking up. Continue as though you are about to exit the car park. You will be in a horrendous queue. Keep going until you are almost ready to leave the parking area and then park up so that when your letter is called you only have 10 yards before you exit the car park. The alternative is to spend half an hour in the car park queue after your letter is called and then be right at the back of your letter’s group (and therefore at risk of being bumped on the next later train when they are “reprogramming” due to “operational difficulties”).

Bon courage!
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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!
Safe journey to all this weekend.
We always leave one of us in the car when shopping to look after bags and documents just to be on the safe side.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Sat 10-02-18 10:10; edited 1 time in total
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
DJL wrote:
A tip for the tunnel travellers. When you get directed into the car park drive all the way round rather than immediately looking for a space and parking up. Continue as though you are about to exit the car park. You will be in a horrendous queue. Keep going until you are almost ready to leave the parking area and then park up so that when your letter is called you only have 10 yards before you exit the car park. The alternative is to spend half an hour in the car park queue after your letter is called and then be right at the back of your letter’s group (and therefore at risk of being bumped on the next later train when they are “reprogramming” due to “operational difficulties”).

Bon courage!


Banked, although I do try and go at non peak times it's a great tip.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
only a few hours for us now before we head off tonight, we are on the 3:30 am crossing, kids are at scouts tonight so will go not long after getting them home.
truck mostly packed, with just having to throw in our hotel overnight bags, surprisingly quite a bit of space in the back still, which is a shame as we try and do a cite de Europe stop on the way back, and normally truck is rammed and cannot fit a fag paper in!!
keep on checking to see if I am missing anything, but all are present and accounted for, we must be finally leaving the kitchen sink behind Toofy Grin Toofy Grin

coming back on a Sunday this time, so shops are shut, I suppose the bright side is the bank account does not take more of a hammering!!!!

took the truck for a mini valet and topped up with fuel and -20 screen wash, and had a quick practice with the chains just in case they are needed.

anyhooo,
bonne vacance everyone who is heading off this weekend
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Avago like the idea of Saturday skiing and stopping in Dijon. Any recommendations for hotel near the motorway ?
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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.
We have made it to our hotel in Reims. Got here a few hours ago, initially felt we maybe should have gone further perhaps to Dijon but in reality we had spent enough time in the vehicle. Euro tunnel was very quiet so quiet that they combined our train U with V and made us wait 30 mins. As we headed south the temp got lower and is currently -4 and there are a few inches of frozen snow on the ground, roads totally clear but I would imagine that if it starts snowing tomorrow it won’t take much before it starts to settle. Tomorrow we are aiming to leave about 8am and drive straight to Bourg Saint Maurice. Safe travels everyone.
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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
@dsoutar,
Quote:

A friend of mine is going to Morzine for a week. He's staying Friday night in Dijon. How will the Saturday portion of the drive be ? I've only ever driven to EK or 3V at half term so know how horrid that can be. Any advice for the Dijon to Morzine leg (i.e. leave early, leave it later, not an issue) and also anything to note regarding the journey back next weekend ?


If he's coming back through Les Gets, Taninges and Cluses the early to mid-morning queues into Taninges and Cluses can be horrendous, better to ski on the Saturday then head home mid-afternoon and stop after 3-4 hours, returning home on the Sunday. Long time since I did the route down to Thonon so I can't coment on that route.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We are on the 7:20 Sat morning train - driving from N London down to Samoens. Have done it lots of times now, but this is only the third half term. Last year we drove on the Sat as hassle to get kids out of school early. Miss Saturday skiing but also miss the traffic (well we did last year - hoping the same this year). Driving back on the Sunday so get to ski the second Saturday at least.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@ah666, ........we normally use booking.com and go for one that has the best reviews and not too expensive. In the past we have used Campanile Toison D'or (big shopping centre over the road with Carrefour for stocking up the depleted vino, if you get there before 21:30), Aparthotel Adagio Access Dijon Republique, Hôtel All Suites Besançon.....
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

We are on the 7:20 Sat morning train - driving from N London down to Samoens

We are on the same one heading there too. What time do you think you’ll arrive? 6ish?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
5.30am. Just departing Guildford area for 8.06 train. Bon voyages !
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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?
Left Harlow at 4am.... now sat on train at 6.43 waiting for the 6.36 to depart......

Rain all the way to tunnel..... not great.

Hopefully will get ahead of it shortly after getting off the tunnel.

There is a beer at chambery with my name on it...... I m coming for you!!!!

Safe journey everyone
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
8am local time. Clear sky here in Reims but looks cloudy to the north.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
bug BBC weather shows a band of snow slipping across N France/Low Countries all afternoon and evening- we're on the 18-06 so slap bang in the middle so could be fun later! 🌧🌧
Got snowsocks but hopefully won't need them. There was a thread showing where to print off a sticker for the snowsocks so they are compliant but can't find it now- any one got the link?
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
M25/26/20 was all clear but spray unpleasant.

Got to tunnel checkin in at 7 for the 8.06 train, asked if there was space on earlier train and they said yes and bumped us forward to the 7.50am. Got hanger B. Did the car park lap, our train hadn't been called yet but drove straight to round to the border controls anyway. Shortish queues, 10 cars at each maybe. 5 minute wait at pre loading then straight to boarding.
Now on board, second or third carriage from front hopefully about to depart. Edit just pulled out at 7.53, so pretty good.

Thanks for the weather updates those they are ahead! I'm hoping we will get just ahead of the weather but will see. About to tuck into scotch eggs and pork pies 😁
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@dsoutar, Even though your SatNav will tell you to stay on the Autoroute till J18 ( Cluses ), theres often queues, even in the doofer lane.
It's quicker, cheaper, shorter and less prone to queues to come off at J15 (Pont de Fillinges), turn left on exiting the autoroute, then get in the right hand lane and follow signs towards Samoens, Taninges, Vallée Verte and Vallée de la Griffe.
On a Saturday the road will be awash with transfer vans so just follow those.
When you get to the junction in Taninges, make sure you follow the the vans that turn left towards Morzine and Les Gets, and do not follow those going straight on to Samoens, Morillion, Verchaix and Sixt.
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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!
Best of luck to all you Half-Termers.
(Kids now grown up, but remember well the crowds and panic)
We always flew Half Term - drove for Easter - but have read all the threads on here which suggest you can't get there too early: the lucky ones started their journey yesterday.
Best wishes to you all.
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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.
I'm flying this year but drive safe & watch out for those crazy Belgians
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Crossing was seamless. Always surprises me that 15 minutes into the tunnel there is still a good UK mobile signal.

Loving roam like at home. Now heading South on the A26 passing Saint Omer. Traffic is fine but we're currently having that debate about whether mizzle or drizzle is sufficiently classed as rain to warrant he speed limit reduction from 130 to 110. Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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