Author Topic: Drive from the UK to Abarth Day in Milan. 3 - 8th October 2019  (Read 160 times)

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Offline Colin

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There is a lot of interest in Abarth Day 2019 in Milan, but understandably, many of you are trying to get a better view on the costs of attending. Whilst we are still finalising the details of the UK Drive, this outline may prove helpful to those of you who are thinking of driving.

Mindful of the fact that it is around 1000km to Milan from the French coast, we will have to take 2 days to get there. The plan would be to have a day which is basically driving, and then Day would be one where we have rather fewer miles to travel and the chance (weather permitting) to enjoy some Alpine Roads with stunning scenery, arriving in Milan on Friday evening, ready for the activities over the weekend.

This means leaving the UK on Thursday morning. Noting that there is a 1 hr time difference to factor in, the plan would then be to drive to the outskirts of Zurich on Thursday. This means a motorway slog down the eastern side of France, crossing the Swiss border in Basel, from where it is about an hour to Zurich. Prices for the a ferry and the Shuttle are very similar (before we factor in any group discount which I will be trying to secure), so I propose the Shuttle, as it is quicker. We would aim to take one no later than mid morning (10am would be a target)......... those who live a long way from Folkestone may wish to consider leaving on Weds evening and staying somewhere en route - bear in mind that you will have a lot of driving on the continent, and whilst the range of our cars will mean a couple of fuel stops, safety and tiredness are important considerations.

Day 2 will be from Zurich to Milan. Provided the passes are still open (it just depends on the first snow), we could go over the old Gotthard Pass rather than the tunnel, or - and this will add quite a bit to the distance, but is do-able, up over the Umbrail  and down the Stelvio Pass. There will be ample opportunities for photo stops and to enjoy the scenery and these fun roads.

We then have 2 days in Milan. And then people need to head home. It may make sense to stay in Milan Sunday night, but some may wish to leave during the afternoon.

Final costs of two of the most significant elements - the Shuttle Crossing and Hotels will depend on the sort of group discount we can secure, which will depend on numbers. But to give you an idea, this is what it is looking like:       

LeShuttle:                180 (but should be able to get this down)
French Tolls              60
Swiss Vignette:         33
Continental Fuel:    300 (1100km each way, assume 35 mpg average, 1.70 per litre)

Those line items are what it costs - no way around them, really, and they total 573..... but that is clearly not the total cost.

Hotel:                      c.350 (based on what we have found so far, may be able to improve on this)
Food:                      200  (approx 30 a day for 6 days per head - but I guess you could argue people would be eating if they were at home!) 
           
In addition, people will need to look at:
UK Fuel to get to Folkestone
Any requirements for driving overseas (high viz jacket, breathalyser kit, spare bulbs, insurance/breakdown cover)

This is clearly not going to suit everyone. You can still take advantage of elements such as group hotel booking rates for Milan, even if you travel separately.

Please, now ponder on this and if you still think that you are up for the UK Drive, respond accordingly.
Abarth 595 Competizione 180: Cordolo Red: Red Leather Sabelts: Skydome

It replaced: 

Abarth 500 NP: Pasadoble Red: Red Leather: SkyDome: Climate: 17" Petals

Offline Colin

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Re: Drive from the UK to Abarth Day in Milan. 3 - 8th October 2019
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2019, 08:25:51 AM »
A further update on plans for the Drive to Abarth Day in Milan.

Bertie and I had a meeting with Abarth UK at the weekend, to discuss some more of the details. We are still trying to get the proposed hotels to respond with group discounts (I called and was asked to put the request in an email, so there appears no short-cut to getting the answers we want).

We are still proposing the route previously outlined. However, we are now looking at taking an earlier LeShuttle crossing - probably around 7:50, which means that unless you are reasonably local, you are strongly advised to travel down the night before. The Premier Inn, just off the M20 and a mere 6 miles from the terminal is offering pre-pay rooms at 33.50 at present. At the price, it is not worth the effort of trying to get any additional discount. I suggest you book yours now before they sell out. See here: https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/england/kent/folkestone/folkestone-channel-tunnel.html?ARRdd=02&ARRmm=10&ARRyyyy=2019&NIGHTS=1&ROOMS=1&ADULT1=1&CHILD1=0&COT1=0&INTTYP1=DB&BRAND=PI

The intent is that we all  assemble at the Premier Inn, then proceed to the terminal, and cross the Channel, and then we will travel in sub-groups. It is very likely that Abarth UK will be joining us, and they are currently working through plans to have a Support Van to accompany us, which will mean that we have a means of dealing with any regrettable issues such as punctures or (some) other mechanical problems. You are responsible for checking that your car is ready for the trip, of course - which means oil and fluid levels, tyres etc.

After a whole day of just getting miles under our belt, the first night will be in a hotel on the outskirts of Zurich. A group of cars from Abarth North East will hopefully be able to join us from there, and I know that there is a Czech Group who have asked if they could do the same. The second day will be one to cross the Alps. If the weather is up for it, we will go over a Pass or two (I know this area well, so can select a good route once we have the forecast) . If it is unfavourable, we will go through the Gotthard tunnel. If the weather is bad on one side of the Alps, it is usually nice the other side, so there should be ample opportunity to get some great photos of our cars in stunning scenery.

Details as to what precisely will happen at Abarth Day, or rather Days, is still very limited. We are hoping for more information once Italy returns from the summer vacation in a couple of weeks. What we do know is that we are planning a UK Dinner on one of the evenings, and the Abarth UK team will join us for what should be a memorable evening, enjoying Italian cuisine and the odd birra or vino.

Mindful of the long journey home and the fact that we all suspect that we will done everything we want at the Milan event during Sunday, we have decided that we should leave on the Sunday afternoon, and head off, crossing the Alps and heading to an interim stop - probably somewhere like Metz. That will mean that we can get back to Calais for a return LeShuttle around 3:50 on the Monday afternoon.  Those who wish to stay on can still avail themselves of the group booking if they travel with us outbound, though I will need to know if you wish to book a different return, as it appears that to get the group rate, it all has to be booked by one person. Once we are ready to commit to that booking, I will need your money, and some details!

As ever, please keep me updated with your plans. This is going to be a truly epic experience, and I for one am very excited about the whole trip.     
Abarth 595 Competizione 180: Cordolo Red: Red Leather Sabelts: Skydome

It replaced: 

Abarth 500 NP: Pasadoble Red: Red Leather: SkyDome: Climate: 17" Petals

Offline Colin

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Re: Drive from the UK to Abarth Day in Milan. 3 - 8th October 2019
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2019, 11:30:30 AM »
Realise I failed to put the last couple of announcements about this that were made on Facebook a few days ago, so here they are:

First one:

Here's the latest update on the UK Drive to Milan and Abarth Day 2019.

We will be leaving the UK on leShuttle departing at 7:50am on Thurs 3rd Oct. For those who are not reasonably local to the Folkestone terminal, you are strongly recommended to travel down the night before. A number of the group are already booked into the Premier Inn, which is a few miles away. You need to make this booking yourself (it was 33.50 last time I looked).

We have secured a group rate for leShuttle. Outbound crossing will be 07:50 am on 3rd Oct and the return is 15:20 on Mon 7th Oct, and the price will be 164. It would seem that this will have to be booked as a single transaction, with each of you needing to pay me, and to supply leShuttle with individual details. The quote is based on 15 cars and is valid until 6th Sept, so we will need to commit this before that date.

The first stop hotel stop will be at the IBIS Zurich Messe. I urgently need to know from those who have not yet told me whether you need a single room, a twin or a double. The singles are CHF85 a night, the others CHF98, payable in advance and a City tax of CHF 2.50 payable locally. Details on what you need to do will be provided as soon as I have confirmed the booking with the hotel (for which we need to know the config of rooms we need).

We finally got a response out of the proposed hotel in Milan, only to be hold that the person who does group bookings is on vacation, not back til 2nd Sept. As the rooms are relatively cheap - from 43.50 for a single room. we now propose that people simply make their own reservation, as we suspect that the group reservation process will not yield much change in price and the risk is the hotel will fill up. The specific hotel is the Holiday Inn Milan Nord - Zara, which is only a few miles away from the location of the event itself. You should book for a minimum of 2 nights - Fri 4th Oct, checking out Sun 6th Oct.

We will also sort out a hotel for the evening of Sun 6th Oct, en route back to Calais.

Further information on requirements and recommendations for driving your car in the three countries - France, Switzerland and Italy - will follow.

Second one:

So much for Group Bookings.........

Those who have read the various announcements I've made in the past few weeks will be aware that we were trying to get a Group Discount on the Eurotunnel crossing. And I got a price, but when we tried to change the time to an earlier crossing, the price went up. Quite a bit.

With my thanks to Claire Pottle, who pointed this out, it would appear to be cheaper (and less effort for me) to make individual bookings. The proposed timings now mean that we are within the 5 day period. So, please go to the EuroTunnel website (https://www.eurotunnel.com/book/TravelOptions/(0)) and make your own booking. You should select the 7:50am crossing on Thurs 3rd Oct and the group return is proposed for 15:20 on Mon 7th Oct. The cost at present is showing as 137.00 for a standard car.

Once you have done this, you should now have booked a hotel for Weds 2nd Oct if you need it, the Eurotunnel crossing, your event tickets and 2 nights in Milan. That just leaves the interim stop in Zurich (which still does look like a group booking at present), and a hotel for the return journey (next thing to sort out). And the other things required such as a toll transponder etc.
Abarth 595 Competizione 180: Cordolo Red: Red Leather Sabelts: Skydome

It replaced: 

Abarth 500 NP: Pasadoble Red: Red Leather: SkyDome: Climate: 17" Petals

Offline Colin

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Re: Drive from the UK to Abarth Day in Milan. 3 - 8th October 2019
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 07:34:36 AM »
For those coming on the Milan Trip, it is time now to reserve your hotel room in Zurich. I have now agreed that you can do this directly with the hotel, and pay them directly, rather than having to go through me, which makes things a lot easier.

A block of rooms are reserved at the IBIS Zurich Messe for Thurs 3rd Oct under the name of Abarth Owners Club.

To reserve yours, you need to send an email to my contact there, who is called Alexandra, and her email is H2980-RE@accor.com. In it, say that you are part of the Abarth Owners Club group booking for 3rd Oct. She will contact you to get a few details and will need your credit card number to secure the booking. (She will send you a form for this, so no need to put it in the first email). Single rooms will cost CHF85.00 per night, plus CHF 2.50 city tax (payable locally on departure) which includes breakfast and the rate for doubles and twins is CHF 98.00.
Abarth 595 Competizione 180: Cordolo Red: Red Leather Sabelts: Skydome

It replaced: 

Abarth 500 NP: Pasadoble Red: Red Leather: SkyDome: Climate: 17" Petals

Offline Colin

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Re: Drive from the UK to Abarth Day in Milan. 3 - 8th October 2019
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2019, 03:31:23 PM »
One final hotel required for the Milan trip, and here it is. This is the one for our return, so 6th October. I've selected the Holiday Inn Express Strasbourg - Sud, as this is just off the autoroute and is a reasonable distance from Milan and not too far back to Calais for our crossing the following day.

I checked with the hotel and there is good room availability. Prices for a twin or standard (double) room are around the 50 a night, including breakfast, so the easiest thing is to ask you to make your own reservations at this property. The website is here: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/gb/en/geispolsheim/sxbge/hoteldetail

Once this is done, you should have all your hotels in place for the trip.
Abarth 595 Competizione 180: Cordolo Red: Red Leather Sabelts: Skydome

It replaced: 

Abarth 500 NP: Pasadoble Red: Red Leather: SkyDome: Climate: 17" Petals