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Driving down for Feb half term

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A40 round Geneva is grim - not helped by fools getting in the doofer lanes at the peage at Nangy when they should have user the pay station lanes. We're overnighting in Troyes, hopefully be there for an early dinner and then back across chunnel lunchtime tomorrow.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@melandnick, it's usually bedlam down there even on non half term Saturdays. We work on clearing Moutier by 8.0am at the latest.

They switch on traffic light control going toward the tunnel fairly early with it backing up the traffic quickly thereafter. Sometimes the que reaches Bourg st Maurice so you're lucky ( relatively speaking) to be that far along.
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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?
4 hours into the drive back from Les Gets, maybe 80 miles done. Omg, worst drive ever
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

Currently in stationary traffic at Bellentre near Aime - anyone know what’s going on ? I was expecting bad traffic but this is taking the p***

I'd expect to spend a fair bit of time stationary on the drive back at half term at this time of day - leaving very early or much later is the only way to be reasonably sure of avoiding it.


Made it to from Tignes to Geneva - took 6 hours leaving at 0650 !! Thankfully flight delayed by 45 mins so we just made it. Good luck to everyone else driving the whole way home.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Long delays with P&O in Calais today...at least there definitely are for coaches. Heard this from my daughter who is on one of the many coaches waiting several hours to get on a ferry after school ski trip.
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Reckon it'll have taken us 8 hours to get from les Contamines to Troyes for our overnight stop
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Yes, @snowymum, my son in law is en route back from Austria with a school trip and their ferry was delayed 4 hours. It was very windy in Calais apparently but I don't know whether that was the reason for the delay.
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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!
Left B st M @530 AM. 5 mins queues into Moutier then plain sailing all the way to Calais 2pm. Then 2.5 hour wait for P&O. Slow crossing. Currently mid channel, about 2 hours in, so can confirm delays.
Fortunately in a uncrowded club lounge so no great hardship. Rest of the boat like a warzone with rampaging school kids!!
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Update!!
Just docking (1420 departed about 1645)
Apparently everything behind us cancelled
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Hideous traffic today... took 5.5hours to go from Saints foy to Lyon exupery. That made the rest of the drive seem forever as the various pinch points were all busier than usual. Eurotunnel pretty good and better than expected.....as missed original booking. Now on 21.20 french time. Then the slap back up the m20 and m25 to Harlow...... then my bed awaits!!!!!!!
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@pam w, My daughter's coach spent about 7 hours in Calais in the end. They made it on a ferry and will hopefully be back in a few hours. Further ferry cancellations this evening so feeling sorry for the poor folk still stranded in Calais and those on school trips who have further to travel in the UK.
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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.
@stefoy4me, Check out the M20 travel info. I think I saw partial closures this evening.
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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
Left Chatel at 1:40 pm and arrived at our overnight stop in Val Moret at 7:00 pm. Drove cross country across the Jura and with a couple of stops. Approx 20 min tail back where the A39 merged with the A5. Quite stressful drive to mostly iNconsiderate GB cars hogging the right lane leaving empty slow lanes for w***kers to under cut everyone causing hard braking as they cut in.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I see I am not the only one who has had a long day. 6.30am from Val d’I and just got to eurotunnel after four short stops and a hunt for a postbox. Most of the time was spent getting North of Lyon.

Wish I had stayed in bed or gone skiing.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
12 hours Les gets to Reims! With a dinner stop as it was going to take too long. So much for the 5h30 it was supposed to take!
Turns out Premier Classe isn't!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It only took one non-stop drive from Alps to UK for me to decide that non-stop was only feasible outbound, that homebound had to involve a stopover, e.g. Poligny.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

Wish I had stayed in bed or gone skiing

Ski the quiet changeover day then leave resort about 5 pm, drive to Dijon for nice dinner and sleep. That's what I often suggest. Or leave at about 5 am with marmalade sandwiches and don't stop for a couple of hours!

Quote:

So much for the 5h30 it was supposed to take!

Even on a quiet Tuesday in mid January you will not safely/legally do Les Gets to Reims in 5h30.
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?
jonathancarty wrote:
Yep, we'll be joining you on the overnight autoroute cruise, we're in a black Hyundai i800 reg SN04BUS fully packed up with sledges lashed to the bike carrier!

After 3 years in a row of > 3hr delays at Eurotunnel on the Friday night before half term we are Dover - Calais ferrying it this year. I'm too stingy to splash out on a Flexiplus tunnel ticket and could not spend another 5 minutes in that terminal building. I'm totally expecting some horrible February storm instead to delay our ferry Very Happy Very Happy

I have to say I love driving down. The thought of it can be daunting and exhausting but it's only really the hours between 0200 and 0700 when it starts to get light that are a struggle. I find flying much more exhausting.

Leaving West Devon at school chuck out time, pack the 4 kids in the car, 11pm ferry, maybe earlier if traffic is kind, stop for breakfast at Amberieu-en Bugey just off the A42, there's an Intermarche there with an awesome bakery and a machine which doles out chocolat chaud / espresso for 50 cents a pop. We then take the D1504 cross country to Chambery so miss the traffic around Lyon. In resort for lunch and medals!!

We ski on the last Saturday then overnight it again but back to Caen for the 0830hrs ferry on Sunday morning, the drive up is harder as there's nothing to look forward to except a laundry mountain then work rolling eyes rolling eyes


SN04BUS spotted a bit before 10pm a bit north of Lyon Happy we are stopping for the night near Dijon, hope your drive to get the 0830 ferry goes well!
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Left Tignes 4:30pm after a final run down from the Grand Motte to Val Claret. Rolled in to Troyes Ibis at 11pm, with a quick food stop en route. Heavy traffic but no real delays.

Up and out by 8am tomorrow.
Let’s see what the M20/M25 has in store...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
we left friday 2pm after skiing in the morning,
drove straight through and arrived at home 4am GMT. No traffic at all French side, UK side diverions and road closures. It seems the whole of the UK has road works
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13.5 hours Verbier to Bristol. Left at 8 am. A few bits of traffic but nothing too crazy. Flexi tunnel was busy. Lucked out on the loading ramps and got diverted onto the train that was about to leave. +1 on the uk roadworks. M25 / M4 junction shut M4/M5 junction shut and tonnes of 50 zones. All in a smooth trip though.
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We were surprised how quiet les houces was today not a single queue at a lift, came back down the tram de mont blanc to st gervais at 4.30 and the tunnel road looked very quiet then
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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!
Arrived at Eurotunnel. It has taken us half an hour to get from the slip road to parking up in the holding area. Eurotunnel is currently saying 60min wait on check in and a further 30mins on border controls......


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Sun 23-02-20 11:00; edited 1 time in total
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Last 100miles to Calais was “a bit breezy”.
Currently in the tunnel queue, looking very busy.
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One of the upsides of driving is getting 7 days skiing out of a week. Start friday afternoon, overnight means beating a lot of the traffic on Saturday and arrive in good time to organise skis, food etc. if self catering - ski Sun-Saturday - leave after skiing when most of the traffic gone - overnight 3 or 4 hrs north, leaving easier drive Sunday. In France in particular the Saturday is always quiet on the slopes as the majority of accomodation the bookings are Sat-Sat, so holiday normally ends on a high.
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Anyone at Euro tunnel? How are the pre checkin queues looking?
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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.
It took us 50mins to get from the queue on the slip road to checking in. Now, another 35mins later we are accidentally on a train as the chap at the boarding area sent us to a lane (at the boarding waiting area) that had a barrier down that wouldn’t lift, meaning we couldn’t access the lane, so we just joined the next lane along that was open. We seem to be surrounded by people with letters a couple before ours....


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Sun 23-02-20 12:18; edited 1 time in total
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We chose Flexi for the return.

An hour after hitting the back of the arrival queue, now on the train listening to the departure announcement, scoffing bodyweight in flexi macaroons.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

Quite stressful drive to mostly iNconsiderate GB cars hogging the right lane leaving empty slow lanes for w***kers to under cut everyone causing hard braking as they cut in.

Are we talking aout the M25?
Quote:

In France in particular the Saturday is always quiet on the slopes as the majority of accomodation the bookings are Sat-Sat, so holiday normally ends on a high.

Pobably true in some resorts, but not others. My expereince in Les Arcs for example (albeit I only go at quieter times) is that Saturday is usually busier than mid week with lots of day trippers. Other resorts such as Les 7 Laux do most of their business at weekends.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@johnE, Glad you said this. We went skiing for a day in Les Arcs on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year. Funicular was heaving and the slopes above and just below Arc 1950 were crazily busy:-D We also struggled to get a table at a mountain restaurant for lunch. Didn't manage to take gondola/cable car up Aiguille Rouge as queues offputting. Peisey Vallandry not too busy and that was the bit I enjoyed most. I can imagine that Les Arcs is particularly popular for Saturday skiing with their discounted Saturday prices and the convenience of leaving ones car at the funicular carpark...taking at least half an hour off the onward journey at the end of the day.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

We went skiing for a day in Les Arcs on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year.

I was out skiing that day as well but went over to La Plagne. It was only slightly busier on the Sunday, but that is one of the peak weeks of the year. The funicular and the train brings people in. Afterall it is a simple train journey from Chambery, Albertville and the villages on the line. Also there are a lot of apartment owners living nearby (my neighbour comes from Grenoble) who only come for the odd weekend. I've skied many weekends in Les Arcs and in general Saturday is no quieter than any other day. Purely based on personal experince I would say that Thursdays were the quietest days.

I've been in Les Arcs 23 days so far this year and have yet to go up the Aiguille Rouge. The queues are just too big and I do not feel upto the 4 euro bung to jump the queue (nor by the loook of it does anyone else). Instead we have headed down the other fine routes from the top of the Varet.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Glad that the calais - dover chaos on Saturday is now eased.
Left St Foy at 1500ish on Friday after a last few runs then overnight on the outskirts of Dijon. Worst traffic was in the hotel car park as there was a Dijon Monaco football match on next door and non-residents car park was rammed and the locals were very much against reversing their cars to make way for the rosbifs!
Left Dijon @ 0730 and now waiting for the 1245 ferry. Delayed until 1400. Not too fed up as the weather is terrible.
Let's hope the UK roads are as easy as the French roads!
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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?
Eurotunnel vile at Calais- queuing back down the autoroute and sending us in a stack. So much for being hopeful of an earlier booking. It was defintely NOT this bad last year at all Sad
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We left Hotel Val Moret this morning at 8:15 for the final French 425kms arriving at Eurotunnel slip road at 12:10 for a 13:20 booking. The queueing seemed long but in reality not too bad as it was well organised and we left on the 13:50 train. Roads were great and quiet early on other than the last 200k which was windy and wet forcing us to reduce our speed a little. Having no lorries on the road ensured GB cars were not hogging the outside lane. People need to remember it’s an overtaking lane and not one for staying on while making slow ground on a car/lorry a long way up the road. The French do pull out to overtake but then pull back in.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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In the last queue to train now. Should be on the 1535 rather than the 1520 we were booked on, 2hr15m queue to get from the autoroute junction to here.
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Quote:

2hr15m queue to get from the autoroute junction to here

Shocked It all sounds horrendous. Hope everyone gets home not too frazzled.
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Eurotunnel very well organised and need to be for yet another day overbooking their capacity
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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!
I was on a Tunnel train when a car failed to start about 4 cars from the doors - train staff called the breakdown wagon - several drivers offered to push the car off the train but the staff wouldn't allow it after half hour waiting for the tow truck it began to get restless with several people prepared to ignore the staff and push the car. The tow truck arrived just in time and dragged the car off and out if the way. In total that cost us at least 45 mins and we were near the front - Ive wondered how that 45 mins accumulates and affects the rest of the day!
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Dear Eurotunnel,

Due to your chronic overbooking and lack of preparation for the “unexpected congestion” (which happens every year at this time), what should be a perfectly comfortable trip through has now become a nightmare.

I wish that the “Tunnel to Europe” industry was regulated like the “fly to Europe” industry, where overbooking is punished by punitive mandatory compensation payments and fines. Unfortunately, since you operate a monopoly and care nothing for your passengers, only your shareholders and executives, this is never likely to happen (especially as we brits were stupid enough to “take our borders back”, giving you more false excuses you can espouse when asked why you provide such wee wee-poor service).

Please, consider at least TRYING to care for your passengers. Take less bookings and service them better, rather than wringing out every last penny knowing it’s not going to cost you anything to do so. Try being Basically decent instead of greedy and unfeeling.

Sincerely,

A tired snowhead, waiting with lots of family and two cars in the ambitiously named “Charles Darwin Terminal” (presumably because anyone agreeing to use it at half term is a potential candidate for the Darwin Awards).
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Is the Eurotunnel craziness just standard for end of Feb HT? Or have people tried to jump on Eurotunnel because ferries have been cancelled?
It’s never this bad at Easter.

Arrived slip road at 16.30 for a 18.13 booked train. Put on a scheduled 19.06 train. Still waiting to board!!
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