I’m leaving Australia in just a few days from now to travel to Trollhattan for the Saab Festival. It’s approaching D-Day, people, and I’m getting excited!!
Planning has been reasonably smooth. I’m no seasoned international traveller, so I’m navigating a reasonable amount of unknown territory here. I think I’ve got the basics covered though. I downloaded a couple of B52s songs on iTunes tonight and I reckon that was just about the icing on the cake 😉
A couple of notes from the planning experience:
1) When you think you’ve put aside enough money, put aside some more. The Swedes charge 25% VAT on stuff. Twenty-five-freakin-percent!! You can claim the VAT back on some items you purchase and take back home with you, but of course that doesn’t apply to travel, accommodation or food – all of which you use up in-country.
2) I’ve always been impressed by the language skills of the Swedes that comment here, and that impression has only been enhanced speaking to a few Swedes on the phone. Some of that 25% tax is obviously invested in a pretty good education system.
3) If you see discount accommodation anywhere – grab it!! I thought I’d done OK with a 740SEK tariff on a room in central Stockholm until I shopped around for another room for the bookend leg of the journey. 740SEK was an absolute steal! The cheapest decent place (with an essential internet connection) was 1575SEK.
4) When you’re choosing to get either a Mac laptop or desktop for home, get the laptop. They’re very expensive to rent. I’m now going to be processing video on my Windows laptop and I know I’ll be missing iMovie. Very much.
I’ll be in Sweden for 10 days in total and eight of those will be in Trollhattan. As I’ve been telling my wife (who’ll be staying home and holding the fort) – this isn’t a holiday.
There’s a lot of people from this website who contributed toward the cost of my airfare to get to this event and I intend to repay each and every one of you with the fullest coverage I can possibly provide. There’ll be daily video and text postings here, covering everything I come across.
In case you haven’t been over to the Festival website and checked out the program, here’s what’s on and a few extras that I’m hoping to cover. You can expect to see at least 90% of this on site in the next two weeks as the trip unfolds:
– tour of the Saab Museum
– tour of ANA, the biggest Saab Ultimate dealership in the world
– thoughts on a tour of the Saab factory (no cameras allowed)
– all the bargains from the SDCC centre. New-old-stock going for a song!
– a look over the Trollspeed workshop
– a really close look at Trollhattan itself
– all the cars of the Festival
– all the activity from the track at Kinekulle
– some time with Swede Team Motor
– a look over P A Johansson’s incredible 850hp 9-3
– the Saab Performance Team
– the anniversary dinner
– a look over “Saab Pearl” – the Saab 96 from La Carrera Panamericana
– a look over all the classic Saabs that people will let me get close to
– the big parade
– the big unveiling of the 2008 9-3
– I’m hoping for some face time with Erik Carlsson (I have my object d’autograph ready)
– I’m hoping for some face time with Per Eklund (ditto)
– I’m hoping for some face time with Stig Blomqvist (ditto)
– I’m hoping for some face time with Jan-Ake Jonsson
– I’m hoping for some face time with Carl-Peter Forster
– I’m hoping for some face time with Anthony Lo (don’t know if he’s going)
– I’m hoping for some face time with Alex Daniel (ditto)
– I’m hoping for some face time with Steve Shannon (ditto)
– Thoughts on driving the Saab Biopower in it’s native land
– Thoughts on driving the new 2008 Saab 9-3
– Thoughts on driving the Volvo V50
– And of course, I can’t wait to meet up with all the people I’ve got to know through this site who will be attending
It’s going to be one heck of a busy couple of weeks!!
The face time is all unplanned. I don’t know how much time these very busy men will have during the course of the Festival (or even if all of them will be there), but whatever I can get I’ll bring back to the site.
If you see me wandering around with a concerned or even grumpy look on my face, don’t be deterred from coming up and saying “Hi”. I always look like that.
I’d like to take one more opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to jelp make this trip a reality.
I literally would not have got there without your help. You are all champions and I owe you plenty.