Doing the Calais-Fally

Discussion in 'Cars, Bikes 'n AFVs' started by Forks, Apr 20, 2009.

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  1. Travelling back to Germany at the weekend for the first time. Is there anything I need to know about driving across Europe, specifically the route I'll take back.

    The route I've got online takes just over 6 hours, heading near/through Brugge, Antwerpen, Eindhoven, Duisburg, Dortmund, Gütersloh then pretty much up towards Hannover then Fally.

    Is this the best route or has anyone experienced a better way? What about speed cameras and/or speeding? Am I likely to get pictured 80 times in France, thrown in jail in Belgium and just plain shot in The Netherlands for travelling 10km/h too fast?

    What's the best times you've made the route also? I hear some young guys bragging how they've down the run in like 4.5 hours in a mad rush to get home before, or is this just silly? I'm not looking to break any records as I'm going BACK to Fally and not away from it.

    And finally, best time of the day/night to do it? I could leave late on the Friday night and catch a late ferry to drive through the night with minimal traffic, but then I may fall asleep at 3am somewhere around Dortmund and that'd be no good. Or brave it through the Saturday daytime and probably pick up a lot of congestion around the cities.

    Any other European driving experiences welcome and much appreciated. Thanks.
  2. I've never driven to Germany, but anywhere in Yurop you'd do well not to get caught for speeding. Can be very expensive and pay on the spot, as in now, right now, before we let you go any further. Beware of motorways as some clock your time at each toll booth, and you'll get caught at the next one if you average speed has gone over the limit. You pay the fine at the toll booth, on the spot again. So I'm told, don't know for sure as I've taken care not to go over the limit. Make sure you've got all the required bits & pieces in the car - varies from country to country, but wise to have first aid kit, warning triangle, spare bulb kit, and a yellow hi-vis jacket (think you need a jacket for every person in the car). If you get stopped expect to have everything checked... Good idea to drive on the wrong, as in right, side of the road. Unless you are Polish.

    Thanks for the timely reminder - I'm heading a long way south of Calais in a few weeks. Better check I've got everything too.
  3. mysteron

    mysteron LE Book Reviewer

    I was once part of a Fally-Calais Rally. I did 4 hours 57 mins in a Saab 9-3 Aero.

    I was soundly thrashed by our adjutant at the time that did it on his bike in 4 hours 24 mins (a mate of his carried all of his bags in his car). The race started at 11pm on a summery Thursday night some years ago and involved 5 cars and 2 bikes. The fasted car was 4hrs 42mins (IIRC) - I came in as the 3rd car!!

    Going back the other way has always been slower for some reason (not wanting to contract Fallingbostel ME again I think). Night time is always best, you can see when loonies like me are coming up fast from behind ion the Autobahn and the Rozzers don't like being out at night.

    Good Luck!!
  4. I was about 5 minutes from that, as in, had I been 5 minutes earlier on my journey and decided to go down the motorway as I sometimes do, I may have been a bit closer than I would have liked for that incident.

    But I'll think I will go at night for sure, motorway driving is so much easier when there is barely anyone around and of course you can spot any cops easier. Saying that, I think I'll leave the high speeds legally for the unrestricted parts of the autobahn, rather than risk it through France etc. Can't imagine the French coppers will look to kindly upon British BMW drivers tearing up their roads.
  5. No tolls between Calais and Fally. Your route sounds about right. Just try to avoid normal rush hour periods. The Antwerp ring can be very busy at peak times.

    A lot of the Germany Autobahns have no speed limit. Be carful though because one second no limit then your suddenly in a 120km limit.

    Keep an eye on your left hand side when pulling out. Other motorists come from nowhere. Good luck.
  6. As a seasoned Calais-Falli Rallyer, best thing to do is pop into Halfords before your journey where they'll give you a sheet with all the European vehicle necessities you'll need for your journey, and you can then buy a pack with most of the stuff in. In short, you'll need warning triangle etc as above, spare bulbs, fire-extinguisher etc, but Halfords has it all. Whenever I go Eastwards, I usually leave the UK on an early morning ferry on Sunday from Dover to Dunkirk or Calais (not much difference in time considering the extra you spend at sea with the former, which means I arrive in Falli at in the early afternoon which is quite handy to unpack and sort your life out before starting on Monday morning. 6 hours is a reasonable time frame for the journey, but have some Red Bull in the car. This journey can be extremely tedious and long and you can run the risk of getting seriously tired, so a caffeine kick every once in a while can be a great help. As for speeds, you'd best not speed through France as there are a couple of cameras, but the beauty about the French is that they always tell you when there's going to be a camera - they don't put up signs for the hell of it as we tend to do in the UK. The Dutch police are real speed-nazis. Seriously, do not speed here. Coming back West, I have often seen a police car parked on the border waiting to catch people coming through. Gits! As for Germany, it's up to you. The Germans seem to put speed cameras on the roads when the speeds are sub 100kph - if the sign says 80/60 do that because there may be a camera there and there are a number of us who have been caught out. The Germans will quite happily do 150mph+ in a 120/130kph zone, but again, this is your call.

    Hope this helps - wish I'd had this advice. One last thing, that route you suggested is the best way, but be aware, if you suddenly come across any traffic jams, it can be a bitch to get off the road, and you may have to just grizz it out. I've done this journey in 5.25 hours (not racing), but it's also taken me close to 10 for the above reason. You may want to look at coming down the 1 as another option. Have fun.
  7. I did that run quite a few times (About 450 miles)
    I tried different start times, but what I eventually settled on was travelling overnight Saturday -Sunday.
    To prevent falling asleep, I used to go out on a Friday night for a final blast with my mates, get leathered, then sleep most of the day on Saturday. After a decent meal with my Mum and Dad I'd set off about nine o clock. Even travelling from Manchester I could do the whole trip in about twelve hours.
  8. The only speed cameras (fixed) on that route are in Belgium, about 3 cams within 3km of each other and the limit is 80km/hr IIRC.

    Going to fally always seems to take forever, even in the dead of night, the return always seems much quicker (4hrs 25mins with a fuel stop!!!!)

    Also, if you have fuel coupons, set your satnav for Straleen/Wankum as it is the first petrol station you can use them in.
  9. It took me just about 6 hours this morning, but my sat nav is the work of the devil and I became far more acquainted with parts of the Netherlands that I never want to be intimate with again. Now, I sleep...