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Everything posted by CirrusDesAigles

  1. You can use NHS PCR tests, they'll do you out of £68 though. Just seen Nationwide Pathology only charge £20 for a LF, hope we can use these when we go away in November.
  2. Has anyone had their UK vaccine rejected by a venue when they scan the QR code? We had a restaurant in Savonnieres give the dreaded red cross and beep but they used their noggins and saw we had clearly been vaccinated and let us in. A restaurant in Ouistreham before we got the ferry had the same issue and there was no way on god's earth she was letting us in, my wife explained in perfect French she needed to update her app (as it says in the Anti Covid app) but she wasn't having it. Luckily we'd been tested in Tours earlier that day and dug them out of the bag and we were allowed to eat!
  3. Tremendous, looks like they've spent a few quid on her. Given her a complete new lease of life.
  4. Good detective work, I tried to find information online but struggled, have you got any links? She wasn't too bad at all, a very retro feel onboard (both decor and service levels!!) but it had a certain charm to it. I seem to remember the cabin being clean and comfortable as well as sleeping well and the en suite being fine. You could walk everywhere, including right up to the front of the bow which was fantastic (I have a photo of me standing on it somewhere). Doors to all manner of machinery rooms were left wide open on deck. I was lucky to have good weather, the day at sea was glorious sunshine for the whole day so spent most of the day out on deck as I recall. The food was a good laugh, very Russian and there wasn't much choice, if any for most meals. I was glad to hit Japanese soil on that front. I'd love to do a similar trip one day but I'd want Russia to change quite significantly before doing so. The Trans-Siberian railway was equally, probably even more memorable. Vladivostok is a nice city too.
  5. Some photos from a journey I did on my own in 2008 when I went from Stoke to Tokyo without flying. The journey was on the pretty old MV Rus and took around 36 hours, leaving Vladivostok at around 9pm and arriving in Toyama 36 hours later-ish in the morning. The journey was expensive but comfortable with every meal provided. Russian immigration took about 30 minutes to clear, still a bit of the KGB about them and the officer on duty went off to his superior with my passport for a good 15 minutes. I hadn't paid a penny for the ticket when I boarded the boat but everyone's name was called on the full day at sea and you had to go and pay your fare in US dollars cash at the ship reception desk (I paid something abusrd like 450 dollars to share an outside berth with a Japanese chap)! Japanese immigration and customs boarded the ship at Toyama and everyone was processed in the ship canteen before customs officers went through each cabin very thoroughly, I'd say the process took about 90 minutes. The ship seemed to list at the angle shown in the photos for the whole duration of the crossing (swimming pool gives a good clue). The photo of her in Vladivostok was after she had arrived from Japan in the morning before we departed and you can just make out the outside decks are covered in Japanese cars! Apparently for the voyage from Japan to Russia, they even empty the pool and stick a couple in there too! The company went bust and a different company took it over sailing to a different Japanese port via South Korea but it seems as though it's freight only post covid, hopefully it'll come back again soon although I wouldn't fancy travelling through Russia these days, covid or no covid.
  6. Hard to believe she's still going. Remember watching her dock at Dover as a boy from the top of the cliffs when she was Stena Fantasia!
  7. Won't have had an easy time of it on the Baltic either!
  8. Thanks for this, I travelled on her as a foot passenger in 2007. Some kind Swedes gave me a lift all the way from Nynashamn to central Stockholm. I seem to remember she was in decent nick then. You might be disappointed in her current nick I am afraid: RIGEL II - IMO 7826788 - Callsign C6TA7 - ShipSpotting.com - Ship Photos and Ship Tracker I must unearth my photos of my ferry jaunts from round that time and post a few on here.
  9. Didn't get any photos but drove over the berth where Barfleur is in Caen last Saturday and she looked in good nick from what I could see.
  10. Worth considering Just Park or Park On My Drive. People rent out spare space on their own drives. I have done it at Manchester Airport a couple of times and it's excellent value.
  11. An update for you all. We arrived in Portsmouth early Sunday morning, did the PCR tests Sunday evening and popped them in the local postbox. The tracking said they weren't collected until Monday night and were delivered to Nationwide Pathology at 9.30am Tuesday morning. My wife got her results at about 10am this morning and I got mine at 12.40pm. Just over 24 hours for the results after a weekend backlog seemed reasonable. The main delay seemed to be the tests sitting in the postbox for 24 hours so something to consider if you're arriving back on a Sunday and are keen to get results quickly as obviously Royal Mail don't do much on Sundays. Overall, can't really fault the service from Nationwide Pathology.
  12. Peter O'Hanrahahanrahan to launch the newly named vessel.
  13. Just successfully changed a booking for Monday night to tomorrow night on the new website and it was very straightforward. Was slow and clunky in Chrome but when I switched to the vast superior Edge, it worked just fine on my laptop.
  14. That's good news, good to see these older boats staying around. BIt of a confusingly similar name to their other Dover vessel though! I thought they might try and pinch the Pride of Burgundy given that's now doing nothing in Tilbury.
  15. There's a clear North/South divide on this front as well!
  16. We were visiting the wife's family in Belgium at the weekend. Due to the onerous Belgian rules, we decided to stay in Lille to meet them. However, they eased the rules last week which allowed us to visit for less than 48 hours without testing, quarantining or filling in a plf. We went in by car on Friday afternoon and Sunday morning but TGV on Saturday. Didn't get stopped anywhere in the car but when we got off the TGV in Brussels, a line of police greeted the train but they just wanted to see everyone's vaccination QR codes. I'm sure I could have flashed them a QR code from collecting a parcel and they'd have waved me through though. Also amused me they wanted to see Tous Anti Covid codes as the Belgians haven't been arsed to build their own app yet.
  17. Went through Dover this morning and it wasn't much fun. We were on the 9.15am P&O sailing to Calais and got to the port at 8am. Queues for French immigration were very long and took half an hour after they belatedly opened two new windows. We then got a tug from port security for another lost few minutes. Arrived at P&O check in bang on the 45 minute last check in time to find one window open and a huge queue. Got through that in 20 minutes and drove on to the Spirit of France about 15 minutes before departure. A handful of cars behind us. It could have been worse, the Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore got 50 yards off the berth before reversing back onto another berth and still seems to be there an hour after departure time.
  18. Yep thanks, all set for immigration. Seem to have spent more time on studying what's required for ten days in France than my actual job during the past month! Printed a new NHS code just now so if anything goes wonky with TAC, I can easily correct it.
  19. I uploaded my NHS proof of vaccination to TAC a few weeks ago. I did notice that the NHS QR code has an expiry date some time in late August and I assume I need to generate a new one (think they last a month from generation)? Will the code also expire in TAC or will it remain active indefinitely once it's been uploaded? No mention of an expiry date in TAC. I'll obviously download and print a new NHS code before we set off later this week but have visions of it expiring on TAC while on the ferry!
  20. Yes, the Google Reviews aren't bad either (average of 3.9 stars) whereas most private Covid testing suppliers seem to be doing well to clock 2 stars. They were delivered by Royal Mail. I'll report back post 14th September if we get results on time etc.
  21. Yes to both, came in a C4 envelope and fit through the letterbox easily. It says to post it back in a Royal Mail Priority postbox (we have one 90 seconds walk from the front door) but I think all Covid tests are supposed to use these ones.
  22. First of all, hello everyone. We're off to Lille and Tours next week and returning in second week of September from Caen to Portsmouth. Did a bit of digging on the Day 2 test companies and plumped for Nationwide Pathology as the reviews weren't bad at all (for a Covid testing company). Website form a bit of a mess (dates in US format etc) so need to take care but got numbers generated immediately for both of us by email. Ordered yesterday afternoon and the tests arrived this morning which I was impressed with. Will report back when we're home and have sent them off but the main thing is, we have the tests and the reference numbers to get in the country!
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