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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanting to purchase a XC90 through the OSD program next summer. Starting to plan the drive and have acouple of ideas. Which trip sounds the most practical in a two week trip. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Day 1: Arrive in Gothenburg and spend the night.
a. Question: Do you normally get to Sweden in the evening or morning? I'd be flying from LAX and imagine getting there early the next morning.
Day 2: Get the car from Volvo and head out after going over the car and signing paperwork and so forth
a. Question: If I don't do the factory tour can I expect to be on the road by noon or early afternoon?
b. Drive down Western Edge of Sweden and arrive in Trelleborg and spend the night.
Day 3: Take early ferry to Sassnitz Germany (approx 4 hrs) and drive on to Berlin.
a. Spend night in Berlin and do sightseeing
Day 4: Do more sightseeing in Berlin and then head out for Dresdan
a. Want to see Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and other Cold War parts of Berlin
b. Make it to Dresdan by early evening
Day 5: Sightseeing around Dresdan and head out for Prague.
a. Spend night in Prague......short drive from Dresdan
Day 6: Sightseeing round and near Prague and head for Vienna
a. Get to Vienna early evening ....sightsee at night
Day 7: Sightsee round Vienna and drive to Aviano Italy
a. Expecting 6 hours but with stops will get to Aviano early evening
Day 8: Catch train from Aviano to Venice
Day 9: Drive around Northern Italy or train to Milan
Day 10: Possibly drive along coast towards Croatia
Day 11: Train to Rome? Long trip? .......any other suggestions in Italy not too far away?
Day 12: Stay near Aviano and turn in car for shipping
Day 13: Fly out of Venice back to States
Day 14: Arrive back at LAX

If I wanted to spend an extra night in Berlin, Prague, or Vienna......instead of so much time in Italy, which city would you recommend. Am I expecting to get too far each day?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. In the beginning stages of planning and know many of you have done the OSD more than once.

Thanks! Great to have a forum like this for answers and suggestions!
 

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Not sure what time of day you will arrive, coming from the west coast. We arrived about 10 in the morning, and the Radisson allowed us to check in right away. After a short nap, we strolled around the area, and down the Avenue. So please don't discount exploring Gothenburg.

If you don't need to, I wouldn't miss the factory tour. If you must, maybe try to get over to the museum. You need to request an early pick up, if you want to be on the road by early afternoon. Just don't make it too early, as you will want to enjoy the breakfast buffet at the Radisson.

There is a ferry from Gothenburg to Kiel, that might work for you too. Many of the people here have done that and can give you more information.

I can't give you any opinion on the rest of your plans, as we spent our time in Central Sweden, but I'm sure others that can will chime in soon.
 

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That sounds like a great trip. Excellent cities to visit!! The question is??? Could you pick up the vehicle, turn it back in, and fly/train to those locations and save time and $$. Remember gas is @ $9/gal....and you will pay a rather hefty drop fee to drop off in Aviano or in Switzerland. Additionally, you have traffic & parking to deal with if you drive. I have done 4 OSD trips. If I am staying in Scandanavia, then I drive.....any other locations...I fly, take a bus/ train. Just some thoughts for you to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My girlfriend keeps mentioning the trains also which I've done when I was stationed in England. I assume I could get a Euro pass of some kind for the two weeks and upgrade to sleeper cars when need be? I live in California so know the pinch of high gas prices......but europe would be almost double what I pay here in LA area. Like I said in another thread.....we are in the very early planning stages to our plans are very fluid right now. I think Berlin, Prague and Vienna would be amazing. I also work with a guy who's wife is from Budapest and he said that it is very easy train ride there also. WOW....going to be an amazing trip. May have to look into the air and train option. I could fly to Gothenburg and get my car, see some of the city and then fly to Berlin and use the trains instead of the car to work my way down to Vienna. Lots to think about but fun at the same time. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Airfare website

If I was going to do the fly and train thing instead of driving.....is Expedia and other search engines the way to go for airfare in Europe or would the airline websites be better. Thinking now of picking up the car for a day and turn it back in, then starting the Europe trip. That would get my car shipped faster and I'd be doing the plane, trains, well, no automobile trip through Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Croatia.....sounds like a James Bond film location script! Thanks for the info!
 

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I recommend Kayak over Expedia.
 

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Wanting to purchase a XC90 through the OSD program next summer. Starting to plan the drive and have acouple of ideas. Which trip sounds the most practical in a two week trip. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Day 1: Arrive in Gothenburg and spend the night.
a. Question: Do you normally get to Sweden in the evening or morning? I'd be flying from LAX and imagine getting there early the next morning.
Day 2: Get the car from Volvo and head out after going over the car and signing paperwork and so forth
a. Question: If I don't do the factory tour can I expect to be on the road by noon or early afternoon?
b. Drive down Western Edge of Sweden and arrive in Trelleborg and spend the night.
A big part of the OSD experience is the factory tour and museum. You may also decide to add options at the last minute (we added the all weather floor mats and mud guards). You'll want to spend time in the "company store" and should not miss out on the lunch. The factory was closed on our delivery day (Queen's Birthday day-of-service) so we returned to Gothenburg a day early in order to get the tour in. The museum was a lot of fun.

On this trip, Germany was just "pass through" (we've spent time there as well as Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Southern France before). While the trip might've been easier by train/plane, we wanted the flexibility that a driving trip provides. And this was not our first driving trip in Europe, just our first in our own car.

There were a number of people at the Radisson/OSD while we were there that picked up their OSD vehicle in "name only" -- they signed the paperwork and maybe drove it on the "test track" and then turned it back in.
 

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Not sure what time of day you will arrive, coming from the west coast. We arrived about 10 in the morning, and the Radisson allowed us to check in right away. After a short nap, we strolled around the area, and down the Avenue. So please don't discount exploring Gothenburg.

If you don't need to, I wouldn't miss the factory tour. If you must, maybe try to get over to the museum. You need to request an early pick up, if you want to be on the road by early afternoon. Just don't make it too early, as you will want to enjoy the breakfast buffet at the Radisson.
Gothenburg has some nice museums that deserve a visit!

We had early delivery but still had time to enjoy the breakfast buffet.
 

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:thumbup:
Gothenburg has some nice museums that deserve a visit!

We had early delivery but still had time to enjoy the breakfast buffet.
:thumbup:
 

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+1 on what Bob mentioned in relation to gas cost

We stayed in Scandinavia for the most part and really wanted to make this an old fashion road trip but that cost us. If I remember correctly we dropped about $700+ in gas over the course of 12 days of driving (2216 miles total).

I think your trip sounds amazing but just figure out the mileage first and then budget out how much you are going to drop on gas. I did that first and came out to around $600 so it wasn't a total shock. I also didn't factor how much fun I would have with the Polestar tune as well as getting 14 MPG on the Autobahn. :eek:

One regret I had from our trip; I wish we had found more fun driving roads. The type of twisty and scenic roads to try to work in to our travels. We did find some, but our schedule was so tight everywhere that we didn't have much time to venture off the highways.
 

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+2 on Kayak,

See Göteborg on Sunday - the historic and cultural part of it is relatively small, and all museums, as I remember open on Sunday...

Driving your own car is the cheapest (by far) way to travel in Europe, regardless the gasoline cost...and a convenience of having your luggage in the trunk instead of schlepping it around - priceless, no matter how light you travel...

The gas is 2x, roughly, I do not think it presents a price shock for any auto-traveller...one has to allocate quite some green for a lengthy road trip in US as well...

On the itenerary...we did very similar one in 2004...

I would make a few changes/suggestions...

1. Depart LAX on Saturday, arrive to Göteborg on Sunday, see the city, get over jet lag...
2. Schedule a delivery for Monday morning, get a whole 9 yards - lunch, factory tour, etc...you have time...
3. Take an overnight ferry to Kiel
4. You are in Germany ~10 and in Berlin before the noon.
5. 2 nights in Berlin, 2 nights in Prague - minimum
6. 2 nights in Vienna...
7. Do NOT drop a car in Aviano...
8. Continue to Italy in a car, stay in Austria or Germany...do whatever you want...for the reference - Vienna - Venice - 1 driving day, Viena - Florence - an easy drive, Florence - Rome - 1 driving day, Rome - Milan - 1 driving day, Lake Como (Bellaggio) is a great destination and then Switzerland or Austria are within the easy reach via ferry...

...

9. Drop a car in Munich and fly home from there...

Do not hesitate to IM me. My wife and I try to be in Europe every couple of years, OSD or not...and have a lot of European miles behind our back...and I do not mind sharing our specific experiences...


EDIT.

Kiel to Berlin is 3 - 3.5H...I was thinking about something else at first...anyway...an easy drive to be in Berlin on time for all touristy actions...Berlin has a great nightlife...so many tourists are not out till afternoon anyway...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great suggestions!

Just off the phone with girlfriend about trains and brought up the part about lugging suitcases everywhere too. I like the Sweden to Kiel idea.....that was my first idea. I'd really like to drive the new car through Europe and glad to know that Berlin isn't too far east from Kiel. Going to do Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Croatia, and Aviano. Use Aviano as a base for acouple of days (have Air Force friends there) ....train to Milan for a day......possibly other trips. Drive back to Munich to drop off car (don't like the Aviano option where someone drives it to the port) and then fly back to LAX. This plan has changed four times in three days but I think I like the driving option the best and the drop off in Munich right at the airport.

So glad this site is here to answer all my questions! Thanks everyone! My 2004 S60 has 223,000 miles on and running great but its time for an XC90 for golf clubs, beach gear and so forth after moving to Los Angles!
 

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Gascos80 can you describe the ferry ride? I will be traveling in December with my two college age kids and wife. We are wondering about sleeping accommodations and how rough the seas are.
 

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Gascos80 can you describe the ferry ride? I will be traveling in December with my two college age kids and wife. We are wondering about sleeping accommodations and how rough the seas are.
Accommodations - same as on a typical cruise ship..you can have a four-bed cabin...cannot comment on the roughness of the seas...traveled only in summer...but ferry is as large as a cruise ship...

you can see all the details here

http://www.stenaline.se/farja/linjer-och-destinationer/goteborg-kiel/ombord/


and I use

http://www.aferry.com/quote/booking/afrybook.asp?SD=63899931015920121016034835


for booking - good prices, comparable with any other discounts that you might find...
 

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+1 on what Bob mentioned in relation to gas cost

We stayed in Scandinavia for the most part and really wanted to make this an old fashion road trip but that cost us. If I remember correctly we dropped about $700+ in gas over the course of 12 days of driving (2216 miles total).

I think your trip sounds amazing but just figure out the mileage first and then budget out how much you are going to drop on gas. I did that first and came out to around $600 so it wasn't a total shock. I also didn't factor how much fun I would have with the Polestar tune as well as getting 14 MPG on the Autobahn. :eek:

One regret I had from our trip; I wish we had found more fun driving roads. The type of twisty and scenic roads to try to work in to our travels. We did find some, but our schedule was so tight everywhere that we didn't have much time to venture off the highways.
We spent in the neighborhood of $1,000 on gasoline in 21 days/3000 miles total. I had plenty of fun on the Autobahn with my S60T5 -- until it capped out at 130MPH/310KPH. I still had plenty of throttle, RPM, and engine capacity (load) according to the on-board computer -- it was the computer that limited the speed. It was solid at that speed and I felt completely safe.

We found plenty of fun roads as we traveled. A lot of ours was: "Hey, that area looks interesting, where will this road take us?".
 

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Gascos80 can you describe the ferry ride? I will be traveling in December with my two college age kids and wife. We are wondering about sleeping accommodations and how rough the seas are.
It can pretty rough, especially in the winter. Take the appropriate medication if you get seasick. Trying to sleep with the ship potentially rolling is N O T a fun experience.

And like Gasco said, gas is more expensive, but paying roughly twice the cost shouldn't be a deal breaker. And like Gasco, I love the flexiblity and fun of having your (brand new!) car with you on the trip.
 

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Thanks for the information; I am looking at the ferry as a way to gain back another day since the Ferry runs at night.
 

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Gothenburg is a nice little city. And of course part of the fun is the factory tour and walking through the Volvo Museum. If you do take the ferry from Trelleborg, spend the night in Lund or Malmö rather than Trelleborg. The other two are much more fun. I lived in southwest Sweden for 3 out of the last 4 years (the past year in Belgium) and know that area reasonably well.

I second (or third) driving your car through Europe. It's a lot of fun to open the car up a bit on the motorways. I've taken the ferry from Trelleborg to Sassnitz a few times and it's about 3.5 or 4 hours. If you go to Kiel it's probably 3.5 hours to Berlin and a little less from Sassnitz (there is a neat submarine museum in Sassnitz as well as a pretty National Park to walk around a bit and stretch your legs).

Berlin is an amazing city - I am actually moving there in two weeks for work. I think 1 day is not enough to see much of anything as the museums can be overwhelming and deserve more time. With an extra day or two you can spend a little more time exploring some of the smaller monuments like the "Ghost Stations" exhibit at the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station.

Just speaking personally, I think you'll have a much better time if you try to see a couple fewer places and spend more time in the places you do visit. Otherwise the trip ends up being all about getting from place to place rather than experiencing and enjoying (and relaxing). Whether you spend more time in Berlin, Vienna or Prague you can't go wrong.
 
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