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2021/22 Christmas & New Year drive down - live chat

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Jonpim wrote:
Congratulations and good luck to all of you recourceful people who managed to change your travel arrangements at such short notice.
We admire your organisational skills. There must have been "Don't panic, Mr Mainwaring" moments.

It was bad enough getting it all together a week ago. We doff our hats/ bonnets to you. Blue skies and lovely snow await you


Absolutely! Changing our plans yesterday from Tuesday to today was one of the most stressful days of my life !
But heading for the tunnel now - expecting long queues there but can't wait to be in Champagny tomorrow
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Definitely plenty of 'don't panic' moments here! Originally meant to be heading down to Argentiere on Dec 28th. Decided yesterday morning to book Eurotunnel for this evening - then had to work out logistics. I'm a gardener so not a problem to go now, wife and son both can work from our apartment. Daughter on uni ski trip in Val Thorens! So we're off later - get to Chamonix early morning tomorrow and then over to VT to pick daughter up. Hope we've made the right call!
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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?
There’s pretty lengthy waits at the tunnel this morning. We arrived at 7.30 for an 8.40 train and got on the 9.40 crossing instead. Overall, I’m just happy that it looks like we’ll make it to Austria.
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Now in a hotel near Laon. Long queues at eurotunnel. Took about an hour to get to the check-in booths then further waits at both passport controls. Plenty open but very slow. Not sure if people turning up with incorrect paperwork. French stamped passports and person wandering down queue checked vaccination status. We had already downloaded everything to eurotunnel website. Train not particularly full and they seemed to have put a few more on.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Just arriving in France, via tunnel apart from lots of cars/people all went very smoothly.
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Just through tunnel queues now and in boarding lane. Not as bad as I'd expected, hour and a half from coming off motorway to here. Even managed to get on an earlier crossing than originally booked. Now just the drive to Chamonix to look forward to.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Just boarded the train over an hour earlier than booked.

M25 and M20 are moving at about 55 mph on average.

Took about 1.5 hour to check in and passport control. We uploaded all paperwork, the French asked of we were vaccinated, we said yes, he waved us through, wasn't interested in the paperwork.

All in all not as bad as I expected
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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!
Similar experience here. Bought a hasty Flexiplus ticket yesterday and got to the back of the queue at the tunnel at 5.30pm. In the Flexiplus lounge with passports stamped by 7pm

Next stop Lille
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Left Hampshire at 05:30 this morning got to Montalbert at 20:30. Long queues for every part of the Tunnel process, Pet check in staff doing a great job, and were expecting 2,500 pets today! Joined queue just off the M20 to get to check in at 07:20 and got on train at 10:30 (booked on 08:50) Took at least an hour to check the dog in. The trickle of cars coming through French border, only 4 gates open, UK had 6, meant trains (4 an hour) were leaving with only the lower deck used.
Good journey down until Chambery where a combination of roadworks and sheer volume of traffic led to a 30 minute delay as traffic management was in place to prevent traffic queuing in the tunnel. Once cleared that, there was an incident near Moutier that led to another 5 minute delay, not sure what it was as they were removing the bollards as we got to it.
This may have been our longest journey time - but too tired to check this evening!


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Sat 18-12-21 8:50; edited 1 time in total
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Good luck to you travellers!

I hope it goes well for you all. We are so pleased that we took the plunge and had 2 (separate) weeks in the 3 Valleys so far this season. We are hoping there are more to come....

While the testing and the associated stresses were a right PITA it was all worth it in the end to get back on snow! Very Happy Very Happy
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
UK news reports suggested it was a bit of a break for the border scenario but real world feedback here sounds like it wasn't as bad as a normal Friday at the start of the school holidays.

I hope that everyone who made it across has a great time - enjoy the quiet slopes!
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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.
I was certainly expecting it to be a lot worse at the tunnel.
Have to say that all the staff working were super helpful and cheery.

We’ve woken up in Lille and now have a day to kill travelling to our previously planned overnight stop in Troyes which is only a 3 hour drive so we might visit Reims and have lunch there.
ski holidays
 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
@MazDave, We stopped for the night a few miles short of Reims, a beautiful dawn breaking here. It was a bit murky around Valenciennes yesterday afternoon.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Made it to Argentiere at 4am after an incident free drive. Now off to Val Thorens to pick up daughter who has stayed on there after her Uni trip - crazy 24hrs but v glad that we are fortunate and lucky enough to have been able to do this. Looking at French news it appears that Pass Sanitaire will be becoming a pass vaccinaire in Jan , ie negative tests will no longer count. Wonder how that will go down!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
philipb wrote:
Pass Sanitaire will be becoming a pass vaccinaire in Jan , ie negative tests will no longer count. Wonder how that will go down!
That'll improve the 5G coverage so all good to me.

More seriously, as long as it's coordinated with teenagers' vaccination it would make sense. Ideally they'd also ensure poorer countries get their fair share - if only to avoid getting from Omicron to Omega during 2022...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Made it it VT, trouble free drive. Too early to check in, so parked the car and barged into the crêperie for breakfast.

Hardly any people around.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Was in VDI last week and were due to drive back out to VT on 26th. Had briefly considered not coming back to UK for Christmas but as we’re hosting people who are travelling from overseas decisions was pretty easy to make. Shout out for Erna Low who have already emailed us about refunding cancelled Nee Years trip. Still battling with CGH to obtain refund for April 2020. While expecting tunnel to be straight forward documents still showing as needing manual verification despite us calling this morning to tell them we’ll be 24 hours early.
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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?
Just had 49 British cars overtake us in one hour on the A26 between Reims and Troyes, we were driving at 60 in the motorhome. Only a handful with roof boxes but obvious where everyone is headed.
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
We might have been one of those.

Just got to Troyes after a stop at the old Reims Geuex motor racing site as we have time in hand.
Going to have a wander about and decide where to have dinner tonight then depart here in the morning to get to Le Grand Bornand early tomorrow afternoon
All very smooth running so far, cold but dry
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We are en route Zurich to Morzine - one return to base so far but we were only 20m down the road so i reckon it doesnt count!
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Couple of observations about crossing the border at Channel Tunnel Folkestone going into France ...
Haven't yet met anyone who has been stopped to check for foodstuffs - (There are no checking sheds at Folkstone like the ones at Calais?)
Passports ARE being stamped at the French border.
Still no toilets in the trains
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@boredsurfin, passports were being stamped in august - i forgot to hand over our residence permits with the passports and she stamped the eldests - luckily it expired in sept so it didnt matter
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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!
Now safely ensconced in the apartment in Le Grand Bornand. Town itself was packed today as it’s the final day of the Biathlon world championships.

Loads of snow and clear sunny skies. It’s so good to be back.
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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.
For those of you still in France, this is our experience of returning to the UK yesterday - Wednesday 22nd Dec.

Left Tignes around 06:30CET, satnav predicting arrival at Calais 16:04. No traffic at all on the road to Bourg - no busses, cars, lost foreigners, drunk locals, nothing. Light traffic on all the Motorways, no queues at any of the toll booths. 10 minute pit stop for fuel at the Metal Chicken (Aire de Poulet de Bresse) managed to shave 50 minutes off the predicted ETA before we stopped for our traditional Wine, Cheese and Foie Gras stop at Reims. 600+ miles and virtually no traffic anywhere. Only started seeing a few British cars as we approached Calais - but probably less than a dozen on the whole trip.

Arrived at a deserted Eurotunnel about 16:30 CET - 4 check-in booths open but no other cars around. We were booked on the 17:50, but they offered us the earlier 17:20, which we accepted. Then we just drove slowly through the bollard maze they've erected in the terminal car park and through to immigration. As expected disinterested French staff - although they had pulled over one Swiss car for the rubber glove treatment. The UK lot were no more interested. Passports stamped by the French and on our way - no-one interested in any of the other guff. Then we just drove slowly through the rest of the bollard maze, straight through the normal queuing area, green arrow lights on all the way, down the ramp and straight onto the train. There were only 7 other cars on our deck when we left at 16:50 (each train carriage usually takes 5-6 cars and only 2 of the (12?) carriages had any cars in it.

Off the train by 16:30GMT, and up to Bluewater. What a fustercluck of a place that is - my ideal of hell. We were 2 hours early for our pre-booked test time (19:20), but that didn't seem to matter. Day2 PCR test done and off again by 18:00. M25, A13, North Circ to drop off a fellow traveller in Neasden, then home to civilisation in Somerset via A40, M25, M3, A303. Home by 10PM.

Now just got to wait for an EMAIL to say whether I've brought the plague back to plague island or not. Gives me some time to unpack 12 days of stale undies and socks I suppose.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Judwin, very similar for us - left Tignes at 8am and was home in Bucks by 8:30 last night. Roads were very clear, got on an earlier tunnel crossing. Hope your trip was good.

Our experience in Tignes with two single vaxxed teens was mixed… testing centre is right at the end of the Palafour Galerie, so a bit of a hike in boots. Most of the testers were very helpful and results came through in around 15 mins of the test. We were only asked three times in five days of skiing for the Pass Sanitaire - on those three occasions they were asking everyone in the queue. And never asked in Brev, Les Boisses, Toviere or Palafour… any of the main access points.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
rainman wrote:
@Judwin We were only asked three times in five days of skiing for the Pass Sanitaire - on those three occasions they were asking everyone in the queue. And never asked in Brev, Les Boisses, Toviere or Palafour… any of the main access points.


Wrong thread for this, but....Our apartment asked for them when we arrived. We voluntarily showed our QR codes at the lift pass office when we bought our passes, and on entering The Marmotts to watch the Grand Prix. They appeared to scan them because we offered, rather than it was required. We weren't asked to show them anywhere else in the remaining 10 days of skiing. We did what we were believed we were required to do, but frankly to these eyes at least it appeared enforcement was non-existent (ETA: and I see Steve Angus has basically confirmed my obvs on his excellent Val Diz thread).
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