The Ice Experience

Remember the antler guy?

I’m unsure if this was a competition, a bookable trip or a giveaway for select customers. Whatever it is, grab hold of the opportunity should it come your way.

It’s the Saab Ice Experience.

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UK Saab owners Robin and Kerry got the opportunity to head north and have some fun in the sun n snow with a range of new Saabs. After the jump there’s the itenerary, Robin’s thoughts on the trip and of course, plenty of photos of the whole gig (including Per Eklund acting out his favourite nursery rhyme)

The Itinerary:

Day 1 – Thursday

Get yourselves together and get to Stockholm, where you have dinner and stay the night prior to travelling on to the event. You get drinks in an Ice Bar that’s a replica of the Absolut Ice Bar at the Ice Hotel. The fun part: they supply “capes and gloves” – I’ll have the Batman cape, please.

Day 2 – Friday

Breakfast and a coach trip to the airport, where you jump on another plane for the flight to Kiruna.

Off the plane and onto the dogsled! Yep, a genuine dogsled with the pitter patter of little paws in the snow. This might sound competely normal to you US and Euro types, but the idea is so novel for an Aussie. Lunch in a Lap hut along the way.

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Back onto the paw-wheel-drive for final transport to the Ice Hotel, which as the name suggests is a hotel made of ice. You sleep on an ice bed, have drinks at an ice bar and there’s even an ice table for dinner. The place is at a constant -5 Celcius, which is quite cold. The US writeup of the Ice Experience recommends:

The recommended sleeping attire is long-sleeved underwear, socks and a hat on your head.

I’d suggest just the hat on your head and the other items worn on the usual, appropriate body parts. (I’m in rare form tonight).

Start the evening off with a guided tour and then drinks in the real Absolut Ice Bar.

Then a surprise! From Robin:

The surprise on page 1 was when we were taken to the frozen lake and taken for a trip in an ice rally prepared 9-3 driven by the likes of per and others from the Saab performance team. (I can not remember their names but I think they are in a photo or two)

Top that off with a few drinks in a traditional Swedish spa before dinner back at the Ice Hotel at 9pm.

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The Ice Hotel. Cool.

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The Absolut Ice Bar. Cool.

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I can’t believe this is a real dining table. Too cool.

Day 3 – Saturday

Here’s where the guests get themselves behind the wheel and do some ice driving of their own. I’ll let Robin tell the story:

We stayed as couples and were given a car per couple. Ours was car 3, an automatic 9-3 Aero wagon.

First we did the breaking and swerving test. We had to get up to 50km/h and then break and turn and avoid the cones (no chance, unless you were going slowly). The man with the antlers instructed us which way to turn, we each had four goes at this.

Then came the slalom, getting up to 60 km/h and weaving in and out of the cones. We thought this was easy until, without us knowing, they turned of all the electronic aids. That’s when every one went everywhere. Great fun, again 4 turns at this.

After that we then had 12 laps of the big circuit each, this is when we had the greatest fun. We managed to get up to 100km/h before a 90 left corner. The more we went round the more we knew the car could do it. All the cars had esp, abs and studded tyres which helped a lot.

After all this we then had a single timed lap in a saloon. Kerry was great on this lap and came first out of all the girls. Me, this was my worst lap and I hit some ice which slowed me down and I came in fourth. What made that result a little hard to take was the fact I had done so well on the other 12 laps. I was told by Per on quite a few occasions to leave a bigger gap between me and car 2, which I did and still caught them up by the end of the lap.

I’m really not worried about the result as we all had such great fun and everyone got a prize and as they say it’s the taking part.

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Cold Fusion.

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Per Eklund giving some instructions…..

…..including his rendition of “I’m a little teapot”
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The afternoon saw a snowmobile trip, followed by a spot of dinner in one of Kiruna’s oldest buildings. From some of the snaps Robin sent me it looked like a good time had by all, with Per handing out some awards or something similar.

A coach ride back to the Ice Hotel finished the day.

Day 4 – Sunday

A liesurely morning followed by flights to Stockholm and London.

A cab ride home and some time to think about all the driving you just experienced. A chance to put the heater on, too.

Robin’s final words:

A truly fantastic holiday and a great big thank you to Saab for letting us take part.

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5 Comments

  1. Well, I’m camping out this weekend, which means that I’m sitting in 93 degree (33 celcius) / 80% relative humidity heat here in Middle Tennessee. The Ice Hotel would be welcome right now!! (I thought that my caption was a pretty good guess!!)

    Per seems to be a good sport.

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