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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My husband and I will be picking up our new white XC60 at the factory on May 21st. We plan to spend two nights in Gothenburg, then meander around the country, on our own, for eleven days with Rick Steves's "Through the Back Door" book. Has anyone ever done this type of vacation in Sweden before? If so, do you have any recommendations for routes, highlights, places to stay, and where to enjoy some delicious meals? We'll gladly add any suggestions to our list. Thanks so much!
 

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I would recommend heading south to the region of Skåne. Here you will find nice old towns (Lund, Ystad), fishing villages (Torekov, Mölle, Simrishamn) and castels. Take the train to Copenhagen for a day. Skåne is well known for good food and houses severall excellent restaurants (both in the cities of Malmö and Lund, and in the countryside).

Continue north on the east coast of Sweden to Kalmar. Here you will find an nice medieval town and a nice old castle. This is also close to the Kingdom of Crystal, where you will find severall glass factories such as Orrefors and Kosta.

Continue further north to Stockholm. You can spend several days in the Swedish capital. There is a lot to see. Don't miss the archeopelago.

Finally drive further north into the endless forests towards Lake Siljan. Here you will find the old traditional swedish way of livng. Tällberg is a nice village on a hill overlookng the lake. Here you will find several old hotels and B&B's. Most of them old farms converted into nice hotels.

If you enjoy good food, check out the White Guide. The best restaurants in Sweden. http://www.whiteguide.se/

Enjoy your stay in Sweden!
 

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^^ Nice run down, makes me want to go on a vacation to Sweden :)

Once my little ones get a tad older I am planning on doing this for an XC90. Sounds like a blast!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow! This sounds exactly what we're looking for. Thanks so much to Red Leather!
 

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great routing and trip. If you like Kosta Boda glass, plan on a full day at Kosta. It's expensive, but the Kosta Art Hotel is phenomenal. From Kalmar to Stockholm (via the Glass Kingdom) stay at the old convent at Vadstena. Sit out at night in the courtyard across from the castle for a drink. They have lap blankets.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My husband and I have our travel books and maps out and are having a great time plotting this trip. What do you recommend for sending email and text messages to family in California?
 

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we use our iPad, but we also upload our pictures to it. That way, we can view all of the day's shots, and email the ones we want to family and friends. I've never had a problem using the hotels' wifi signals.
 

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We picked up a Kindle Fire (book reader *and* web browsing) for our recent trip. We were able to use Wi-Fi in hotels and McDonald's.

We also had a laptop to backup photos and handle "real" email.

If you get near Ystad be sure to visit Ale's Stones (think "mini-Stonehenge").
 

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If you're into art and nature I recommend a visit to Pilane Sculpture Garden on the island of Tjorn about 45 minutes north of the factory. On the way onto Tjorn stop at Kaffehuset i Sundsby and buy some food for a picknic and enjoy the sculpture garden and some yummy food - great way to spend a few hours. There is other stuff to do on Tjorn as well.

while you're in Gothenburg walking around the city find the Cafe Kronhuset it's set inside one of the oldest buildings in Gothenburg. There's also a chocolatier and other neat shops in this place.

We spent a few nights in a country house - Ronnums Herrgard -quite nice and nice country all around and the dinner we had there one night was amazing. We also visited Lacko Slott - worth a visit if you find yourself in that area.

Have a great trip!!

http://www.pilane.org/drupal/en
http://www.kaffehuset-sundsby.se/kontakt.asp
http://www.cafekronhuset.se/index.asp?sprak_id_sprak=2
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm making a list of everyone's wonderful suggestions...thanks so much! Here's another question. We will be in Sweden May 20 - June 1st and haven't booked any lodging except for two nights in Gothenburg, at the beginning of the trip, and one night at the end. We love the idea of stopping and staying wherever we want and not having a schedule to follow. When I mentioned this to Jorgen, at the Volvo dealership in Sacramento, I could hear a bit of hesitation in his voice. We do have a list of places from a book called "The Rough Guide to Sweden" and suggestions from this site. Are we crazy?
 

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For internet access buy a sim card when you get there. The cost to use your regular plan will floor you :)

This is a Link to Leo Laporte that will help.

Nothing like a good road trip :)
 

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We just returned from Europe this week after a 2.5 week trip. We did plan ahead this time, but that's up to each person. We used airbnb.com for the first time and it was great - stayed a people's homes three times including Lillehammer, Falun, and Vadstena. Much more interesting than hotels and less cost too.

We did also go well into Norway for the Fjords. A beautiful drive and destination that I would not want to miss. Stayed two nights in Flam literally right on the water's edge.

We also spent two nights at a house in Oslo and found it very easy to walk the entire city.

-Jon
 

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you can also look at TripAdvisor.com ... though initially for typical hotel (chain) properties there's enough people now contributing to that site that there's a lot of great info - even for smaller privately run properties in foreign countries
 

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Ann:
No, you're not crazy. We just came back from 3 weeks. We had reservations for 3 nightst up front (arrived Monday, picked up car Wednesday) and the last night before flying home at the Radisson. The rest we decided day-by-day as we moved along. We had a list of things to see that really would take 6 months and knowing that we would not get to the vast majority of them.

We largely used hotels.com to find places, often finding the hotel's own website to book. We also went directly to some hotel websites (MotelOne based on Rick Steves', Marriott because I had some points, Hotel Breukelen near Amsterdam based on a Dutch friend's recommendation). We ended up NOT booking through Tourist Information although we've done that in the past. We called one by phone.

We did not get a pre-paid SIM as we were moving between countries too frequently, phone was largely for urgent/emergency use. Only time this was a problem was the hotel that validated Wi-Fi via SMS to your phone where the system did not like the US (+1) country code.

Tripadvisor.com had good reviews too.

If you need consistency, you could stay at International brand-name hotels (i.e., Radisson, Marriott, Best Western, Hyatt, etc., etc., etc.). Our preference was to move around and experience different things (ended up at the Marriott because we were on the way back to Gothenburg and getting tired -- wanted something "easy").
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Our bags are lightly packed and we're off to Sweden tomorrow morning at 5:00am! Here's the plan; 2 nights Gothenburg, 1 night Halmstad, 2 nights Malmo +(train to Copenhagan), 1 night Kalmar, 4 nights Alvsjo + Stockholm and Archapelago, 1 night B&B on way back to Gothenburg, 1 night Gothenburg, fly home. Plan is subject to change if desired. Can't wait to see our new XC60!
 

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Bon Voyage!!

Sounds like a sweet trip, have fun :)
 
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