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Easter Drive Down - chit chat

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We nearly always have a very early crossing 6am'ish on the Friday, drive to Annemasse area, stay somewhere cheap, early breakfast. drive PDS then ski on the Sat, check in accommodation. On the Saturday return check out of accommodation, go skiing, leave mid to late afternoon, drive a couple of hours north to a hotel, complete journey home on the Sunday.
Result = 8 days skiing instead of 6
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@johnE, If you live in Scotland like me you certainly do! Bunk off work asap on Friday, overnight at Dartford Crossing, up at 6:00, at Eurotunnel at 7:45 and at La Chapelle D'Abondance within 12 hrs of leaving Dartford. And plenty of stops for the geriatric dog. On the way back stop overnight in Folkestone.

Mind you, some friends from Chester do it without an overnight and with their 80+ yr old Dad in the car. When they arrive we have to lift him out of the car and straighten him out manually.
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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?
So it's Wednesday, the big day is drawing ever closer, so how's the packing going?

I've got the skis/boards in the roofbox, a food-box is packed in kitchen, most of clothes are ready to go in suitcase. We're down to the overnight bag and various other piles of stuff around the place Laughing

Mrs B should be supplying the passenger info to Eurotunnel as I type - I'm pretending to work and today will drag
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We usually stay overnight some where within a couple of hours of the resort in both directions. That way we can get two extra days skiing for a lot lower prices than the resort accommodation by skiing on the Saturday we arrive and leave. If it were not for the extra skiiing time, I would do the trip in one go. On one occasion when skiing with 3 friends, we skied all day in Switzerland then drove back to the UK overnight - it was very tiring though and not recommended unless you have more than one driver.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Boris, two inches of snow down here overnight....
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
and have you all checked that you have valid EHIC cards and driving licences? Embarassed . I've just opened the post this morning to a red reminder from DVLA that my licence expired in February Embarassed Embarassed . I'd not opened the previous letter as I'd assumed it was for my car tax which automatically renews these days Embarassed Embarassed
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@boredsurfin, Nice Cool

@Hells Bells, Of course (he lies as he checks furiously.........phew)
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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!
Hells Bells wrote:
and have you all checked that you have valid EHIC cards and driving licences? Embarassed . I've just opened the post this morning to a red reminder from DVLA that my licence expired in February Embarassed Embarassed . I'd not opened the previous letter as I'd assumed it was for my car tax which automatically renews these days Embarassed Embarassed



You have just reminded me to remind my husband that he needs to send off his drivers licence renewal (type 1 diabetic, renews every 3 years). I do not fancy doing all the driving to courchevel and back myself! Thank you!

Boris, we are almost all packed here too. Going to load the bags into the car tonight so that I can see how much space I have left for food. This is the first time doing the trip in a saloon car, missing the estate right now!
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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.
We're flying this year, for the first time in a long while. And, I must admit, I'm feeling a little sad at not doing the drive. Always feels like the start of an adventure - crack of dawn tunnel, hotel and restaurant in a strange town and then that lovely early Saturday morning drive, seeing flat land give way to hills, which give way to mountains and the first sight of the snow. *wipes a tear*. Enjoy your journeys, all.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Just dug out the EHIC cards and realised I'd bought back the kids season passes as well...gulp Shocked . Would not have been happy to have left those at home. Got the top box up as the dog has got the nod. Want to get it all loaded tonight, as will be 'pretending' to work tomorrow and am bound to get in an urgent job...grrr. Wondering if there is a 'snowheads' car sticker, so we can wave at each other?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Cheesie168, @Cheesie168, we have some on our roofbox.
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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.
Hells Bells wrote:
@Cheesie168, @Cheesie168, we have some on our roofbox.
Bum, needed to have looked into this sooner.
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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
If I have insurance do I need the EHIC cards?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@blahblahblah, yes, most (all?) insurers want you to exhaust all possibilities under the EHIC arrangements before calling on them for funds.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Every time we have ended up in the cabinet medical in resort (most holidays!) they have asked for cash upfront and not wanted the EHIC. However I think we have needed to fill the EHIC numbers in on insurance forms on our return.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Hurtle, Thank you, I will dig them out.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
snowymum wrote:
Every time we have ended up in the cabinet medical in resort (most holidays!) they have asked for cash upfront and not wanted the EHIC. However I think we have needed to fill the EHIC numbers in on insurance forms on our return.


Most (not all) medical facilities in ski resort in France are private. The busy one in Plagne Centre has signs in 4 languages explaining that everything has to be paid up front regardless of your insurance but you will be given a form to send to your insurance company to claim back the payments. Exactly the same at the pharmacy. However when you get to A and E in Bourg (Moutier is now closed) one of the first things they want is your EHIC, as it is a state run hospital. Last time I went there it was €20 for a cat scan and X rays!
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?
Quote:

Last time I went there it was €20 for a cat scan and X rays!


Dog's can't use MRI machines but Cat scan Toofy Grin

My mum was airlifted to Bourg after breaking ankle walking (should have skied) they were very good - didn't ask for EHIC and Insurance until later
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
My mob are on the night snow train out of St.Pancreas on Friday night. Will waive or flash a torch out the window or something on the bits where it follows the motorway to say 'Hi'... or possibly 'ARRGH SAVE ME FROM THIS DRY TRAIN HELL!'
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I feel so organised! Telepeage sorted, environmental vignette sorted, passports renewed where necessary, and we did actually sort the EHIC stuff, for once.. although the fact I feel organised means I've forgotten something important!

Realised that as we're bringing our own skis (six pairs because I'm greedy and bringing two, and the youngest (4) is hiring) that all six are not going to fit into one ski bag. And even though they'll be in the roofbox, we'd be happier with them in a bag. So a quick dash to Absolute Snow this morning, who are having a closing down sale due to moving, sorted that - handy having it nearby.

So far we've sorted out all the ski gear we have to take, but there's all the peripheral stuff like other clothes, toiletries, all the gadgets including full on charging and sorting the GoPro etc. Honestly, I need a holiday after this. For those who don't know, we have four children, all skiers, oldest is 11. I tend to organise the holiday and work out what we need to bring, and my husband does the physical packing and roofbox/chains faffery. We're a good team as neither of us can do what the other one does in any way effectively with this!
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.....and we're off. Left school at 1.45pm, traffic clear, just got to the tunnel. It's very quiet at the terminal but we got assigned our booked 16.16 departure time but told there's a 30 minute delay to booked time. We're hanger M. They aren't publishing times for the hanger letters on the info boards for some reason, but they're showing H-L to head round, so might chance our arm after a loo stop.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Gazzza, Excellent - I'm pretty sure (based on nothing) that when it's quiet they merge trains into one, which may explain it. Although slightly concerning they're experiencing delays now!!!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Good grief. Does anyone know what time the Eurotunnel trains go on Friday morning (6am to 8am roughly) as I cannot find it anywhere on their site. If I go to the timetable page, it wants me to select a fare (why?) and then says it's fully booked so it won't tell me the times. It would be nice to have a train time to actually aim for even though we're flexi plus!

Bad design, Eurotunnel..
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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.
@Boris, I think the comment earlier that the timetable only exists to sell Flexi plus is probably correct! I thought Flexi was a rip-off at £100 extra but now at £200 plus its just stupid!


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 28-03-18 14:42; edited 1 time in total
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@sparklies, train times will vary depending on delays/demand/conditions so can understand them not printing a timetable. On a busy day I would say trains will go at least every 20-mins.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@sparklies, Trains run up to 5 times an hour at peak 4 times an hour when its busy 3 times an hour sometimes and twice an hour when its quiet - thats the best I can work out in reality!
Obviously the difference between each frequency is a trade secret, I noticed on the way in at Folkestone it said 2 departures an hour for cars but 5 an hour for trucks - so I guess its a balancing act - I imagine theres more profit in Trucks than cars....
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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.
@Gazzza,
@sparklies,

I've found these helpful for updates and they do respond to questions https://twitter.com/LeShuttle and https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/traveller-info/latest/
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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
So it really is a matter of turn up whenever and hope? It's just they DID have a timetable when I looked a few months back when it wasn't fully booked, and not realising I'd never get to see it again I didn't make a copy of it!

Flexiplus was included with Erna Low, so I'm good with that!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
sparklies wrote:
So it really is a matter of turn up whenever and hope? It's just they DID have a timetable when I looked a few months back when it wasn't fully booked, and not realising I'd never get to see it again I didn't make a copy of it!

Flexiplus was included with Erna Low, so I'm good with that!


We are booked on the 6.20am if that helps? I think they aim to go every 20mins. LOVED flexi plus last time but only doing it on the way home this time.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I really don't think it is worth trying to arrive for a particular train with flexi plus. The attraction of flexi plus is not having to worry about timings! It is not possible to control the queue from the motorway, the number of cars in front at check in or the length of the security queue or whether your car will be stopped for a security check. We have never waited more than a few mins at the traffic light after the flexi plus kiosk to board a Eurotunnel train. Usually you will end up at the front of the train and so you will have to wait for the rest of the cars to board the train. Then you will be first off at the other end. When we have travelled before on Good Friday we have aimed to be at the tunnel check in before 7.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A word of warning on the timetable. It's true that there are 3-4 departures per hour most of the time, but that's not the case through the night. We turned up at Coquelles in the middle of the night a few years ago, I think just after 02.00, and we had to wait 2 hours for the next departure. The terminal was completely dead, just us and another family, but the "duty free" shop was still open!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
johnE wrote:
Reading this thread I get an impression that many people stop for the night somewhere. I have never done this or actually met anyone who has. Is it possible to run a poll and find out how common it is?


In over 20+ years have only ever done an overnight stop once - and doing one again this Friday - just because its a bank holiday and have 3 families in our group.

However - only live 20 mins from eurotunnel at Folkestone - most of our trips are low season (aviod school hols, french and english, most of the time) - and - will travel sunday-sunday if at all possible - definitely easier.

Usually catch train around 6.20 - and in chalet by 5pm (3V / paradiski) - or earlier if travelling to PDS.
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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?
johnE (and Dippy), i think its more common than you think.
Rather depends on when you cross the channel.
Going we tend to cross afternoon (stop over Dijon) or evening (stop over Arras).
We don't drive through the night.
But coming back we leave about 5.30am and drive all the way home in one go.
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Thanks all - I won't worry about it then, and just focus on getting out the house on time instead as that's probably more useful! The aim is to get there shortly before 7am if we can. Google reckons 1h45, so we'll probably aim to be in the car for 5am, and it'll be more like 5.15am by the time we actually go..!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Well WFH tomorrow- will be doing as little as possible, thankfully boss has day off which will help

Car prep, packing, house clean order of day.

Drinking order of tonight
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Ok it's been a difficult drive so far. Left home at 6am and after driving through heavy rain and traffic made the tunnel just after 10. The train left only 30 minutes late😊
Then the trouble an electric fault bought us to a standstill in st Quentin.
So no it is an overnight stop and hopefully a hire car in the morning.
1 day's skiing lost Sad
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@johnE, oops, fingers crossed for a speedy exit in the morning.
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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!
@sparklies, is it the first time you've done Flexiplus, and if so, do you know about the lounge? There's help-yourself food (you need to plan wisely to make the most of it, especially with lots of you!), coffee/tea/chocolate, a loo without walking miles through the ordinary terminal, free newspapers, somewhere to sit if there are any delays.
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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 enjoying all this chat - bon voyage to you all. Our turn comes next Thursday.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Well we got round on our M hanger, no one checked. Border controls superfast, no queue at all, though where selected for extra security screening. From what I can gather everything was running about 30 mins late following an earlier problem. We were in the departure lane for about 15.30 I think. About 4pm they boarded the letters up to and including L on the 16.16 which was our booked departure time. 10 mins later they boarded the Ms on to a train rescheduled for 16.24. Would have been good had the freight train in front of us not blocked the tunnel and needed to reverse out, so we eventually left about 17.00 arriving just after 18.30. Roads clear this side and currently passing Laon, almost at Reims. Hope to be at Troyes for hotel by 10pm.

Nghtmare @johnE, Hope you get sorted and moving in the morning. Fingers crossed you'll be in resort by tomorrow night and enjoying fresh powder on Friday!
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