An Unforgettable Adventure
New car. New experiences.
When it came time for Jonathan and Anne Johnson Griffin to buy a new car, they decided on a Volvo XC90. And when the opportunity arose for them to travel to Sweden to collect it in person as it rolled off the production line and out through the factory door, they grabbed it with both hands. Because as well as getting a brand new car, Volvo Factory Delivery Experience also gave the couple the chance to enjoy an unforgettable Swedish adventure.
To be able to collect your new car as it comes out of the factory is an experience in itself, but to also get the chance to test it out in the very country that inspired it, is something else altogether. Throw in a crash course in Swedish culture, a visit to the Volvo museum and a tour round the Volvo Cars factory to see how and where their car was built and you have a very unique holiday indeed.
The journey begins
The trip started in Gothenburg – the hometown of Volvo – where Jonathan, Anne and their young daughter Elle stayed at the first-class Clarion Post Hotel. Besides collecting their new car and seeing around the Volvo Cars factory and museum, they also got the opportunity to take a tour around the city. “I remember all the cobblestone streets and coffee shops” says Jonathan. “I really liked the mix of old and modern architecture,” continues Anne.
With their luggage safely and easily packed into their new car, the family then continued their adventure with a drive along Sweden’s beautiful west coast. All the while, their daughter Elle sat comfortably in her child seat occasionally gazing up at her favourite part of the new family car – the large, panoramic sunroof.
Jonathan, Anne and Elle spent one night beside the sea in the picturesque fishing town of Klädesholmen on the island of Tjörn. They stayed at the hotel Salt & Sill, which was one of the most memorable places during their trip. “We had the view of a lifetime with our room positioned right by the water. You could literally open the door and jump in,” Anne says.
Tasting a Swedish Tradition
The next day they set off for Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm. On the way, the family stopped off for a traditional Swedish fika in the spectacular Uppgrenna Nature House. Inspired by the look of traditional Swedish farmyard barns, Uppgrenna Nature House is a modern, eco-friendly meeting place complete with spas and conference rooms. “The Nature House café was amazing,” exclaims Anne. “The surroundings were like something out of a Swedish fairy tale.”
When the family arrived in Stockholm, it was love at first sight. Stunning architecture, delicious street food and a superb choice of clothes and furniture shops…the list could go on. “In Stockholm, there was a surprise waiting around every corner,” explains Jonathan. Anne agrees, before continuing. “We were on our way to a restaurant one night when we came across an orchestra in full dress uniform playing classical music in one of the town squares. Suddenly, the orchestra took everyone by surprise us and started playing “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. That got the whole square swinging.”
During their stay in Stockholm, Jonathan and Anne found time to visit Stockholm Castle (home to the Swedish royal family), the Nobel Museum and the lively Horntulls market. They also took a ferry around Stockholm’s many small islands and explored the cobbled streets and hidden alleyways of ‘Gamla Stan’ – the old town. “The old town was really beautiful. It’s a part of the city that has been around for centuries”, Jonathan says.
On the way back to Gothenburg, the family stopped off to experience Gripsholm Castle. Located about 60km west of Stockholm, Gripsholm Castle was built by the first king of Sweden, Gustav Vasa, in 1537. It still belongs to the Swedish royal family and was used as one of their residences until the 18th century. It is now a museum and offers a fascinating glimpse into a time that has long since vanished. ”The castle was an absolutely amazing preservation of the history and architecture”, says Jonathan.
New adventures on American soil
When the family arrived back in their hometown of Portland, Oregon, it took time for everything they had experienced on their travels to really sink in.
“It was an unbelievable journey. I know it’s a cliché, but we loved every minute of it. It was a real adventure and we’ll carry the memories with us for the rest of our lives,” says Anne. She and Jonathan cast a glance at their Volvo, which now stands proudly on their driveway after being shipped from Sweden – ready to take the Johnson Griffin family on new adventures and help them create new memories. Only this time on American soil.