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Easter Drive Down - chit chat

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I enjoyed reading the February thread, so thought an Easter thread would be in order Cool

So this time next week, all being well, will be around Reims area I reckon. Overnight booked for Macon Sud and early morning dash to Vallandry
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decided to fly this visit, in fact only decided 2 hours ago!!!!!!!
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It'll be our first drive, so not a clue where we'll be this time next week!

We have Flexi Plus, and want to get through the tunnel pretty early (we live about 1.5 hours drive away) to avoid the English traffic on the way there. What sort of time do people reckon we should aim to get to the tunnel for? I think our hotel is between Lyon and Chambery, and we'd like to get there by 6pm at the latest really.
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sparklies wrote:
It'll be our first drive, so not a clue where we'll be this time next week!

We have Flexi Plus, and want to get through the tunnel pretty early (we live about 1.5 hours drive away) to avoid the English traffic on the way there. What sort of time do people reckon we should aim to get to the tunnel for? I think our hotel is between Lyon and Chambery, and we'd like to get there by 6pm at the latest really.
As early as you can make it as the Tunnel is fully booked from the early hours until late at night on Good Friday, and any delays quickly knock on. Also, you can stop and eat or even arrive early enough for some sightseeing.

We're leaving Thursday afternoon, staying around Arras. Fully expect to miss the 7:30pm train slot as can't collect the girls till 3:30pm and while we can do it in less than 2hrs, past experience of Maundy Thursday tells me it could easily take us + 4hrs to get to the Tunnel. Considering a trip round the Vimy Memorial after breakfast on Friday, but might just get going and do that on the way back. We do lots of side trips on the way back at Easter, Paris, Dijon, Louvre at Lens, Ypres etc. I love the drive at Easter, days are brighter and longer and I find it relaxing. Mind you, looking at the weather it won't be as warm as normal? We'll arrive Les Carroz late Friday afternoon aiming to be ready for Saturday on the slopes with all the locals.
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@sparklies, Good Friday is not a holiday in France so traffic will be relatively light - personally I'd say with stops you're looking at 8-hours from Calais to other side of Lyon so you want to be in France by 10am at the latest!

Allowing for hour time difference that means no later than 8.30am train
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@Boris, ..usual Easter = car to Dover, hotel N France, CD stories all the way through F, cross Jougne into CH; then 8-9 days on decaying snow, hopping mud and then back same way.

..this Easter - anxiously watching websites since a lot of the small resorts may stay open....hurrah!...but then we have go to a birthday in Amsterdam next weekend (food, boat trip, more food, Van Gogh..) via Easyjet x4 seats...then 2 back to UK and 2 of us carry on to Geneva (very difficult to find flights) via KLM x2 seats....then meet friend in GVA who has come from Gatwick...hire car to Valais...then easyjet back to UK early April. Magic Pass...and now purchased for next year too. Snow forecast for Valais next week.
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Thanks all! Yep - I figured 10am to arrive in France was definitely the very latest. We're quite happy getting up at stupid-o-clock as we've done for many plane-based ski holidays in the past. With everything ready the night before we can be up and out within half an hour.

Would getting there for 7am be too late in terms of crowds on the train?

We don't want to rush, and it would be nice to eat our evening meal at a sensible time in a local open family-friendly eatery I have identified near our hotel! Even better if we can arrive by 5pm and avoid what rush hour there may be at that point. I just looked up the exact location of the hotel and it's almost exactly halfway between Chambery and Lyon on the A43.

Google Maps reckons a 6h30-8h30 drive time for Good Friday, no matter what time I put my departure time from Calais before 10am. And of course we will need to stop a few times or the children will kill us!
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I'm getting the 8:50am Eurotunnel on Wednesday, just me and the 3 dogs and 2 cats. I normally pick-up the family from Geneva on the way, but this time I'm going a day earlier, as they got delayed last time and it meant the animals had to put up with a 16 hour journey time. Just need to go on Amazon and find myself an audiobook to listen to.
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@sparklies, if you have flexi-plus you won't need to worry about it - they will let you on. Trains will be full but you will have priority
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We're driving down to the 3V from the Midlands.
Minor hitch in that we need to drop #2 child at school for their trip to Saalbach, so we're not going to get away until 1030 on Friday. Then we'll point it South and take what comes. Flexi+ on the tunnel, and expecting to get to the hotel between 10-11pm.
Short journey on Sat morning, and on the slopes as soon after opening as possible.

That's the plan anyway, updates to follow. Very Happy
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Driving down on Sunday,expecting the usual 12.5 hours door to door, the clocks going forward an hour on Sunday morning means an early Saturday night methinks!
Off to Asda tomorrow at some point to brim the tank Very Happy
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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.
@sparklies,
Quote:

Would getting there for 7am be too late in terms of crowds on the train?


2 years ago on Good Friday we were booked on a c.7.45am train and had a small queue - maybe 20 mins - and got on the train after the one booked but we were cutting it a bit fine for our check-in anyway. People we know who arrived in good time for a train at c.9am had a 2-3 hour queue in operation stack... I'd say arriving at 7am on a flexi will probably see you straight through.

On a similar time train this year (Good Friday again) and what will be will be - I don't expect it to be as busy however because in 2016, all the schools (state and private) broke up on the Thurs as Easter was so early whereas this year, private schools generally break up today, state schools next Thurs.

Happy driving!
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@jma, cheers, 7am does sound like it would be fine. That would get us into France for 8.30am-ish for an arrival time of 3pm-5pm plus however long we stop for (which we can adjust as we see the progress we make)

Do we have to show up half an hour before the train we want? I know I could probably look this up, but I'm more interested in the reality versus the official version!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@sparklies, tbh I don't know, never bothered with Flexi-Plus as I'm too tight - if they're really busy, the worst queues are before check-in anyway regardless whether you've got a flexi or not - it doesn't give you priority to bypass the queue on the motorway!

That said, you will get on the next available train when you do get to check-in which means you don't waste any time in the terminal but again, I doubt it will be too bad this year as the school holidays are a bit more staggered.

I'm not sure you're timings are quite right though - if you arrive at check-in c.7am, you should be on a train by 7.30-40 or so (without looking, I think there's one at 7.36?) and that'd have you disembarking in France c.9.15am (local time...)
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

What sort of time do people reckon we should aim to get to the tunnel for? I think our hotel is between Lyon and Chambery, and we'd like to get there by 6pm at the latest really.

Working back...... From Calais to Chambery without breaking speed limits and with sensible but brief stops, is probably around 9 hours. So that would be leaving Calais at 0900 French time. Which is 0800 English time. So on a train leaving about 0700 English time?

Or earlier to be 100% sure or if you want longer stops....
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We'll be in the thick of it on Friday - train booked for 13.00ish - heading down as far as Dijon for Friday overnight and into Le Grand Bornand by early afternoon Saturday for the week.

Having spent a couple of Christmases and Easters hunting for something to ski on I'm really looking forward to this one...
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We are leaving Cardiff next Thurs evening, spending the night in a folkestone premier Inn then getting a 6.30am ish tunnel (can't remember the exact time). Stopping just past Lyon on the Friday night before a short dash up to Courchevel on the Saturday morning.

We did flexi plus last year (and have it for the way back this year). It was brilliant! No queues, just straight onto a waiting train. Within about 10mins if leaving the motorway we were on a moving train - this included calling into the cabin for food.

I'm so excited. It feels like it's been a long wait for Easter.
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I'm in Verbier/La Tzoumaz at the moment and I can say that you're going to get a great ski holiday this Easter. Conditions - here at least - are excellent and really looking to be a great Easter. So all that effort and cost is going to make for a great family holiday. Enjoy.
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@breeze11 pretty much the same for us

Folkestone premier inn on the Thursday night, up at the crack of sparrows onto the earliest train we can manage and then down to bourg en Bresse for a Friday evening stay over
Then a leisurely drive up to Val Thorens on Saturday morning
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JONR wrote:
@breeze11 pretty much the same for us

Folkestone premier inn on the Thursday night, up at the crack of sparrows onto the earliest train we can manage and then down to bourg en Bresse for a Friday evening stay over
Then a leisurely drive up to Val Thorens on Saturday morning


Excellent! See you there. We should all have car window stickers so we can spot each other.
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For the first time in years the wife has agreed to do the drive in one day! We live about 50mins from the tunnel and don’t hit a traffic light the whole journey.
Leaving on the 7:20ish train Saturday and only going to stop when the bladder is full or the full tank is empty, hoping to be in Flaine for 5pm after a stop at superu.

Snow is also looking good!! Might even need the chains on the way up?
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Let’s hope it’s not chains on the way up! Although on the Saturday after about 6pm it can dump it down until Sunday 😀
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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MazDave wrote:
We'll be in the thick of it on Friday - train booked for 13.00ish - heading down as far as Dijon for Friday overnight and into Le Grand Bornand by early afternoon Saturday for the week.


Similar here - but only going as far as Troyes in the evening - so we can get the kids sat down for a proper meal. Usually stop at Dijon on the way back.

Done the drive quite a few times now. Usually the mad dash round the M25 when school finishes on a Friday. So looking forward to a more leisurely day.

In terms of stops on the way - got into a bit of a routine. The big chicken service area! And when heading along the A40 past Geneva then the Aire de Valleiry Nord where you can find little lizards living in the cracks in the wooden fence which kids love.

I've found some of the cross-season tyres (e.g. Michelin Cross-Climates or Vredestein Quatracs) can handle most things. Although mine and that new anymore so am a little apprehensive about the weather forecast. Really don't like putting the chains on.

The other bit I don't like is trying to decide whether to rush the kids into the Eurotunnel terminal for the toilet - and risk missing a slot - or have to walk them up and down through those train doors to get to the filthy toilets on the train.
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Noakes wrote:
hoping to be in Flaine for 5pm after a stop at superu.


We heading for Flaine too - but stopping en route. Leaving Troyes on Saturday morning so should get there a bit before you (unless we go really slow!).

Forum or Foret?
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Aire du Poulet is one of our favourites too Very Happy
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JONR wrote:
Aire du Poulet is one of our favourites too Very Happy


If you do stop there, head straight to the far corner stall, where they serve Poulet de Bresse! Choose your piece and ask “avec jus de cuisson” Madeye-Smiley Smile
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Quote:
JONR wrote:
Let’s hope it’s not chains on the way up! Although on the Saturday after about 6pm it can dump it down until Sunday 😀


I second that! But really don’t mind as long as it snows!!!!
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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
frejul wrote:
Noakes wrote:
hoping to be in Flaine for 5pm after a stop at superu.


We heading for Flaine too - but stopping en route. Leaving Troyes on Saturday morning so should get there a bit before you (unless we go really slow!).

Forum or Foret?


My foot will be as flat as the wife will let it 😉
Normally stay in Forum, Terminal neige, but this year with the wife, not so little one and Dog I’ve opted for Pierre & Vacances Premium Les Terrasses d'Eos, you?
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We are crossing via tunnel Fri morning, staying in Mercury near Albertville Fri night before short hop into Val d'Isere Sat morning.

Reading this thread made me wonder what time we are booked on the tunnel, so thought I'd have a look at our booking. Bought with Clubcard vouchers but can't find an email or real letter anywhere with confirmation. It's now driving me potty! How would the confirmation come through? I use it so infrequently, can't remember the process.

I'm 99.99999% certain we do have a booking!! Numpty! snowHead
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Noakes wrote:
My foot will be as flat as the wife will let it 😉
Normally stay in Forum, Terminal neige, but this year with the wife, not so little one and Dog I’ve opted for Pierre & Vacances Premium Les Terrasses d'Eos, you?


You might well beat us then! I expect herding our kids in and out of rest stops will eat into our journey time.

We're in an apartment in Forum. Kids are still quite young - so it works better than hotels.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ski Tyke wrote:
We are crossing via tunnel Fri morning, staying in Mercury near Albertville Fri night before short hop into Val d'Isere Sat morning.

Reading this thread made me wonder what time we are booked on the tunnel, so thought I'd have a look at our booking. Bought with Clubcard vouchers but can't find an email or real letter anywhere with confirmation. It's now driving me potty! How would the confirmation come through? I use it so infrequently, can't remember the process.

I'm 99.99999% certain we do have a booking!! Numpty! snowHead



I have an email confirmation for my bookings. Can you log onto the website?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ski Tyke wrote:
We are crossing via tunnel Fri morning, staying in Mercury near Albertville Fri night before short hop into Val d'Isere Sat morning.

Reading this thread made me wonder what time we are booked on the tunnel, so thought I'd have a look at our booking. Bought with Clubcard vouchers but can't find an email or real letter anywhere with confirmation. It's now driving me potty! How would the confirmation come through? I use it so infrequently, can't remember the process.

I'm 99.99999% certain we do have a booking!! Numpty! snowHead



I have an email confirmation for my bookings. Can you log onto the website?
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.@breeze11, only with my booking ref! Which I don't have, obviously!

I will call them in the morning.
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@Ski Tyke, in my experience you get a fast response once you book Eurotunnel - almost immediate email. And if you search emails and don't have anything from Eurotunnel, you probably don't have a booking. There are two parts of the process - one to get your "voucher" for Eurotunnel (you can do that online - you get a number IIRC) but then you have to telephone eurotunnel and talk to a real person and make your booking. Even if you have a voucher for the full value of the Eurotunnel crossing you want (and often you will have to pay the balance with real money, obviously.

You can probably check the first part of the transaction by logging on to your Clubcard account.
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Okay, I reckon we'll aim for about 6.45am to arrive at the tunnel. It's not like we have to arrive dead on 6pm anyway - it was just something to aim for that gave us a bit of time to wind down in the evening before trying to get an early night!

We have chains.. bloody expensive ones too because of our stupid sized wheels and limited clearance, but I'm very much hoping we don't have to use them because of the faffage! Husband managed to fit them the other day so at least there is that. We're heading for Arc1950 so fairly high.

Then back down and up again for VT and the the SFaB the following Saturday! snowHead snowHead First and only trip this year though!
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@pam w, yep, had the telephone conversation and there's a transaction on my CC statement so pretty sure I'm booked, just can't find the email anywhere.

Part of me thought I'd had a paper confirmation but can't find that either so probably made it up!

I'm confident I'll sleep soundly tonight knowing it'll all be sorted in the morning!!
Laughing
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Quick chains tips - take some of those cheap really heavy duty PVC gardening gloves for putting them on. Saves ruining nice ski gloves!

https://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Red-PVC-Gloves---One-Size/p/186925
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@frejul, agreed! I have sh!tty gloves, sh!tty old coat and sh!tty waterproof(ish!) leggings in a bag with the chains.
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That's a great tip! I'm sure we have some buried in the greenhouse somewhere.
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Oh - and a thick plastic sheet or something to kneel on. Generally you need to put them on before you hit the nice crisp fresh white snow - you'll be kneeling in greasy grey mush.
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