Info ref driving to Belgium

Discussion in 'Jobs (Discussion)' started by DISCOS, May 8, 2007.

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  1. I start a contact in SHAPE on Monday 14th of May, after taking the decision to drive across on the Sunday, is the chunnel the best way to go, or are there better ways of getting there? Im driving over from the Wirral and looking at leaving early(ish) Sunday morning.
    Any info most appreciated
  2. Either tunnel, Dover - Calais ferry or Dover - Dunkerque ferry. The Dunkerque ferry is longer (about 2hrs) but a hell of a lot cheaper than the other 2 routes
  3. Floatation packs under your car and use a plank of wood as a steering device. Drive to West Kirby and enter the water there. Steer until you get to Calais or Oostende, then follow signs for Bellgem.
  4. Would recommend The Tunnel. Then Calais, Lille and Mons. All in Walloon area so you should not need to learn French version of these places.
  5. Cheers, Tunnel it is, just booked, not really bothered about price as get it back on expences.
    Just out of interest, do I attach the blow up rubble sacks before I start driving or wait till I get to West Kirby?
  6. Remember the eight P's - Prior Preparation Prevents Piiss Poor Performance.
  7. DISCOS,

    I was at SHAPE for two years and now am out and live in Ypres, Belgium. I would reccommend usind Norfolkline from Dover Dunkirk. As some have said they are the cheapest, they also do not allow coaches or foot passengers so no screaming groups of kids. The food is good on board and the ferries are under two years old. The crossing is 30 mins longer than Dover - Calais, but it cuts out some of the journey as it positions you slightly closer to Mons. Here are directions to SHAPE from Dunkirk:

    1. From the ferry follow blue signs for motorways A16/A25 (E40/E42)
    2. Get onto the A16(E40) Heading for Ostend/Lille (You arent on this M'way for long)
    3. Take exit 28 signed for the A25 (E42) direction Ypres and Lille
    4. As you approach Lille stay in the lane sidned for Tournai and Brussells.
    5. As you approach Mons on this M'way take exit 24, signed for SHAPE.
    6. End of slip road turn left.
    7. Go up the hill thru 2 sets of lights, take left entrance to SHAPE signed Berlin Gate.

    I would allow about 2 hours from Dunkirk - Mons.

    Hope this helps

  8. Thanks very much FM, could you give me some info on Belgium/Mons as in places to see, best boozers ect, just so I have some inside knowledge before I get there, would be most appreciated

  9. Discos,

    On SHAPE itself there is'nt too much entertainment. You have the all ranks "Brit Bar" in the UK singlies block which is good as is the German bar in their block. There is the multi national "International club" which I thought was very poor full of rap loving yanks trying to be "ganstas" and failing to look hard. There is also a bowling alley which is worth a visit every now and then
    Downtown Mons is pretty grim, high Algerian/Morrocan population. It has very high unemployment as it is the former coal mining area of Belgium, it used to be rich many years ago. There is a pretty good Irish bar just off the center. There are some nice restaurants in and around the town.
    Brussels is a short 45 min train journey and is pretty good socially.
    The area is very rich in WW1 history. The first shot fired in anger by the BEF in 1914 was fired about 600 yards away from the main gate of where SHAPE is today. 70 miles from Mons is Ypres, I live there now and it is a cracking town, well worth a visit for the WW1 history and pretty good on the piss.
    The Somme is also about 80 miles away just accross the border in France, again well worth a visit.
    The Ardennes are about 2 hours from Ypres and are well worth a visit summer or winter.

    Dont be too disheartened with Mons, I found it a real dump (apart from the history). There are many nice places not far by car though.

    Hope this helps somewhat

  10. Look out for your speed in Belgium, they just love UK cars (120 Kph) on the motorways )unless posted lower.

    Also note that there is afixed speed camera on the motorway!! around the centre of LILLE - the other give away is the parked car at the roadside or the car hidden on the central reservation.

    Keep em peeled!!
  11. Thanks very much for the info
  12. Fcukin ell, ive blazed through Belgium dozens of times on the way to the fatherland and never seen one copper.
  13. Dover-Dunkirk via Norfolkline is the optimum route for SHAPE.

    As for things to do, if you don't like shopping or WW1 then it is a bit of a dead loss. There is a nice bar just north of Casteau crossroads, up from the Best Western Resort on the right hand side. Good scran and beer selections. La Gourmandine is supposed to be nice but I am unable to confirm that.
  14. DISCOS are you going out there as a S/U or M/A?
    Its been a while since I left SHAPE but had an excellent social time.
    Grand Place in Mons is good for bars etc. (Even when the wives went on the sauce one night and there was a body in the road which everybody ignored) At the back of camp there is a road called the Rue de Fusielliers, about 2 km up the road on the right is a bar that does great food and serves the best beer.
    Don't know about prices now but one friday afternoon me, mrs and kids were bored. Was in Madrid on the Saturday morning. (Train)
    Great place to explore from. Oh yeah, do not be phased by the beauracy/beaurcratic nature of shape. Its just the way it is.
    Any more info just PM old chap. Have fun