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To consider driving 500 miles abroad on Christmas Eve?

(27 Posts)
tyler80 Thu 06-Oct-11 14:17:52

Would involve a 12 hour ferry journey followed by a 500 mile drive on Christmas eve then repeat the journey in reverse a couple of days later. I'm mad to even consider it aren't I?

Tell me it's too far and will ruin Christmas!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 06-Oct-11 14:25:13

Actually, the roads would probably be reasonably quiet and what else would you be doing with the time? Watching some terrible old movie, arguing over the right way to make roast potatoes and stuffing your cheeks with cheap chocs?... A trip like that sounds.. err.. invigorating!!!

gethelp Thu 06-Oct-11 14:31:51

And what will you do when you get to wherever it is? If it's meeting Brad Pitt in a ski lodge with crackling fires and fur rugs then yes it's worth it. However if this is not the destination you need to decide how comfortable you are with driving in possibly difficult conditions and having a rough crossing.

troisgarcons Thu 06-Oct-11 14:33:14

I havea friend who drives for 9 hours for Thanksgiving dinner at her daughters, then drives home again! It's inly us that has this concept anything over an hour is an epic distance.

tyler80 Thu 06-Oct-11 14:35:05

Would dearly love to do it. We've never managed to spend Christmas abroad with one set of grandparents for various reasons but this year looks like it might just be possible.

Christmas eve is the main event in Denmark so need to get there mid afternoon and this would just about work. I just can't decide whether such a long journey is reasonable.

troisgarcons Thu 06-Oct-11 14:37:24

Go for it! grin

aldiwhore Thu 06-Oct-11 14:39:13

Do it, reasonable or not it will be an experience, either a never to be repeated one or a family tradition in waiting.

tyler80 Thu 06-Oct-11 14:46:47

I'd drive 9 hours in the US without a second thought. Petrol's rather more expensive over here though and not sure what the roads will be like. Add into that a 12 hour ferry journey and I'm dithering.

Gonzo33 Thu 06-Oct-11 14:47:42

Do it.

We lived in Germany for a few years and always used to do that journey apart from once when I was heavily pregnant and had sciatica.

Just be mindful that you may need snow chains for the tyres.

Tenebrist Thu 06-Oct-11 14:53:23

Would it not be a bit easier to fly? We usually manage European flights (Wales-Germany) within 6 hours door to door. A lot of companies don't fly on the 25th, but there still might be flights on the morning of the 24th.

Snow chains? What part of Germany were you living in, Gonzo - the Alps or something? We've lived in Berlin for 20 years and never needed snow chains, and I don't think they'd be needed for Denmark either. Winter tyres, however, are a must.

troisgarcons Thu 06-Oct-11 14:54:31

Mind you - the weather - snow, do you have snow chains?

tyler80 Thu 06-Oct-11 15:03:00

Snow chains unlikely to be needed for Denmark or the part of Germany we'll drive through. Flights aren't really an option because there's a limited choice on the 24th and I'm working on the 23rd. Also car hire ridiculously expensive in Denmark so together with flights are loads more expensive than getting the ferry.

troisgarcons Thu 06-Oct-11 15:04:26

Anyway of swapping your 23rd working day?

gethelp Thu 06-Oct-11 15:05:34

Ooh, hygge, go for it! Danish Christmas def worth it!

MinesaGandT Thu 06-Oct-11 15:07:40

Message withdrawn

tyler80 Thu 06-Oct-11 15:09:45

No unfortunately not. OH working too, lots of Europeans in his workplace so Christmas time off always difficult, he's negotiated time off after Christmas but can't do before as well.

Looks like it might be a no go anyway, law in Germany recently changed so winter tyres compulsory for certain conditions. sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 06-Oct-11 15:10:08

Re snow. I drove through part of Denmark one February and, even though the snow looked about 20' deep either side of the roads, the roads themselves were as clean as a whistle... V impressive.

tyler80 Thu 06-Oct-11 15:13:12

Kids would be fine in car, they will see it as an adventure (older than toddler younger than teenager) and they all sleep well in the car even in the daytime (OH included!) We have done plenty of trips to Scotland which are a comparable driving distance.

tyler80 Thu 06-Oct-11 15:32:08

What I really need is a giant ash cloud to hang about for a bit so they reinstate some of the old ferry routes grin

ZonkedOut Thu 06-Oct-11 15:38:29

Are winter types compulsory in Denmark? They are in Sweden. You can get them fitted in the UK, it's becoming more common to use them here.

Other than that, is there someone who can suggest what the roads are likely to be like? 9 hours is one thing, 12 hours in heavy traffic something else.

tyler80 Thu 06-Oct-11 15:42:45

Winter tyres aren't compulsory in Denmark but they are in Germany in certain conditions which we'd need to drive through. Since there's no guarantee of what the weather will be doing it's a no go really.

Can't justify the expense of winter tyres and don't have much storage. I don't use the car over here if the conditions are such that you'd need winter tyres.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 06-Oct-11 15:55:41

Have you checked the law to see if it applies to you 'passing through'. They must know tourists can't do everything...

Ifancyashandy Thu 06-Oct-11 15:59:52

One word: hygge.

Kick2down Thu 06-Oct-11 16:00:58

Fly and rent a car. Or fly and beg relatives for a lift. How far is where you're going from an airport? Is there a local train? A bus?

Tenebrist Thu 06-Oct-11 16:01:25

tyler, we've always had winter tyres fitted on the car (from about mid October to April in eastern Germany) and I would certainly recommend it, even in the UK. Winter tyres offer better grip from 7 degrees and below, which would probably be at least three months of the year in the UK, wouldn't it? <ponders global warming>. Although looking at your last post, I can understand you not wanting to drive on UK roads with snow at all given the official reluctance to clear said snow with any efficiency.

I would point out, however, that I have never heard of anybody being checked and/or fined for not having winter tyres in cold weather in Germany, but presumably if you were involved in an accident and it was subsequently discovered you didn't have them fitted, there would be biiiig legal and insurance trouble.

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