Wanderings, travel, photographs and skiing…

Travelling from London, UK, to the Chamonix Valley, France

By on December 28, 2005 in France, UK

Up at 4:30 am, showered, and on the road by 5 am for a 90 minute trip to Dover to catch a ferry to France for the long drive to Chamonix / Les Houches.

Snow in UK bad, snow in a ski resort good…

What a journey!  The 90-minute drive to Dover took well over 2 hours due to snow on the motorways.  We spent most of the time crawling along in a single line. There was very little sign that any attempt had been made to keep the motorway clear and there were nutters in 4×4 doing 50+ mph in the fast lane.  For the UK it was snowing very hard and was almost getting into blizzard conditions.

Our check-in time for the ferry was 7:15 am, with a sailing time of 7:45 am, arriving in Boulogne at 9:35 am, local time (8:35 am UK time).  We reached the port at 7:20 am, and I thought we had missed the ferry to go on a skiing trip because of snow (now, that would have been ironic!), but luckily they were still allowing people to board.

The ferry crossing was smooth and fast (50 minutes), and we were on time.  There was an equal amount of snow in France, and yet they had managed to keep their roads clear. Go figure?

The drive south to Chamonix was uneventful and boring.  The weather was changeable, and we had snow showers for most of the trip.  The roads were generally clear of snow until we got near Geneva.

The last couple of hours of the trip was in heavy snow, and there was quite a build up on the road.  As we weren’t carrying snow chains, so we decided to buy some, which took three stops at various roadside service stations until we could find a set that were the right size.  Interestingly, as soon as we bought snow chains the roads cleared (even though it was still snowing hard) and they were clear all the way up into the [Chamonix Valley](http://www.chamonix.com/).

Total tolls for the trip were around €70 (Euros).  Total travelling time was about 14 hours (door-to-door), and we did about 600+ miles.

One great toy we had for this trip was a friends sat nav, and this was the first time I had seen or used one.  I was very surprised by its accuracy and ease of operation, although I did find it a bit weird to have a disembodied voice in the car telling me I had gone the wrong way or that I was off route.  It was very easy to set up, we just told it where we wanted to go, and it worked out the rest!

Driving direction from London to Chamonix (662 miles)

Chamonix, France – map it


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