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Author Topic: [2015] Driving from London to EF21, need one more passenger  (Read 2558 times)

SouthPaw

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Being the mad fool that I am, I'm opting to drive all the way from Jolly Olde London, Eng-er-land, to EF again this year. I have two passengers already, in the shape of Syruss Scaleskin (Red Fox/Fennec/Dragon hybrid) and the one and only Blaster Hedgie.

The car in question is a 13 plate Škoda Octavia Saloon (1.6 litre Turbo Diesel), with boot space to the parcel shelf measuring 101 x 96 x 56cm (or about 543 litres, though it's officially 590 due to the rake of the rear seats). With a bit of Tetris, this is sufficient to contain four people's luggage.

The plan is to leave from North London (Enfield) at around 9am on Monday 17th August, head round to Dover and use P&O across to Calais (as I get a discount with them due to being rail staff as it's an ex-Sealink route), have an overnight stop either just before or just after the German border (last year it was the ibis Styles Dortmund West due to the combination of its location just off the Autobahn, free parking, and inclusive breakfast and Wi-Fi). Tuesday morning we continue to Berlin, take advantage of the 1 hour free parking at the Estrel to unload (assuming you've got a room there, of course) before I go and park the car for a week.

On the way back, we leave the Estrel at around noon on Monday 24th August, stop overnight somewhere in Belgium or The Netherlands (last year it was the ibis Styles Antwerpen City Center, again due to the location (though parking was chargeable) and inclusive breakfast and Wi-Fi. From there it's a relatively short drive to Calais for the ferry home, getting back to the UK at around 5pm, before heading back Londonwards (dropping folks off at a convenient location).

I suffered a bit of a "lead foot" on the Autobahns last year (though I'd still rather drive on a UK Motorway most of the time!), but even allowing for that the total outlay for ferry, hotels for the overnight stops and fuel (but excluding food) came to £110 per person.

Ideally, someone who can understand German would be a plus, as mine's so rusty that even WD-40 hasn't helped, and if you can get insured on the car so as to share the driving that would be even better. :D

The downsides are: It is a long drive...(Well duh...) Whilst we can have music on in the background (yay for having a 64GB SDXC Card and an infotainment system that can handle it, as well as being able to stream via Bluetooth), there may well be times when I need to turn it off so I can concentrate (like trying to avoid becoming a hood ornament on a BMW); to keep overall costs down, the plan is to book two rooms for each overnight stay, which means someone will need to share with me; and finally, being of the more "rotund" persuasion, I snore.

If you're interested, either reply in thread, or on Twitter (@SouthPaw1805), on FurNet IRC (usually to be found in #eurofurence of course), Instant Messengers (if you know it!), SMS (ditto) or by e-mail!
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SouthPaw, southie (at) southie (dot) me (dot) uk

Fairlight

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Re: [2015] Driving from London to EF21, need one more passenger
« Reply #1 on: 16.04.2015, 12:48:30 »

I'll drive, too, all the way from Crewe...

One tip for the hotel on the way back: The ibis Antwerpen docks is usually cheaper, and it comes with free parking.
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SouthPaw

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Re: [2015] Driving from London to EF21, need one more passenger
« Reply #2 on: 17.04.2015, 23:20:45 »

I'll drive, too, all the way from Crewe...

Ouch! Though I suppose you've always got the option of Hull - Zeebrugge or Rotterdam from there, rather than coming all the way down to Dover. Might try Harwich - Hook of Holland one year, though it'd have to be a day crossing as the overnight one involves disembarking at 0630(!) on the return journey.

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One tip for the hotel on the way back: The ibis Antwerpen docks is usually cheaper, and it comes with free parking.

Had a look at that one last year, but adding breakfast for four people on top made it more expensive than the Styles, even allowing for the cost of parking at the latter.
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SouthPaw, southie (at) southie (dot) me (dot) uk

Fairlight

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Re: [2015] Driving from London to EF21, need one more passenger
« Reply #3 on: 20.04.2015, 12:07:38 »

The problem is that the Dover connection is a heck of a lot cheaper. All the connections from Hull seem to be on the ridiculous side of expensive, compared.
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