View Full Version : Osd -- kingdom of glass adventure

01-12-2003, 12:31 PM

I'm seriously considering the "Kingdom of Glass" tour/adventure offered by Volvo OSD.

I plan on being in Sweden last/first week of Mar/Apr 2003 so wonder if weather good/bad etc also.

Can anyone who has been on this tour package provide some feedback (be it +ive or -ive) for me.

Is it possible to shorten the length of the tour from 7days to 4days as the last three are in Stockholm and we would rather do Stockholm under our own steam.

Thanks in advance and regards... Barry Sharp

P.S. Any other advice on the OSD Volvo tour packages would also be of interest to me -- I've never been to Sweden so don't know what I'm in for ;-)

01-12-2003, 12:53 PM

If by "Kingdom of glass tour" you are referring to a sequence of towns known for glass making in Southern Sweden I would suggest that you check whether the musuems and glass factories are open for public in March/April.   The main tourist season in Sweden is May--August and that is when most of tourist places are open.  For instance, we tried visiting the castle in Kalmar in early October only to find that they were closed (from mid-september).  You might also want to check www.gothenburg.com for additional details.  

Late March/April is when Sweden wakes up from a long winter.   However, there is a faint chance of snow storms during that time.    

Hope that helps.

01-12-2003, 01:10 PM

Thanks for your reply. I will check with Volvo and web sites for holiday dates and opening times etc.

Hmmmm, the chance of snow storms -- will have to keep "mum's the word" on that issue for time being ;-)

The Kingdom of Glass tour/package is the one described in the Volvo's "Passport for Volvo Overseas Adventures" booklet.

It says

Day-1 Hooks Manor House

Day-2 Drive to Slottshotellet (The Castle Hotel) in Kalmar.

Day-3 Cross the Baltic Sea on the great Oland Bridge and stay at Halltorp's Inn to taste the sumptuous herring smogasbord!

Day-4 Drive back onto the mailland to Astrid Lindgren's World -- go by Gota Canal/Soderkoping and stay at Soderkopings Spa Hotel

Day 5-7 Visit Stockholm

Price $1270/person (double occupancy rate)

We thought if we could drop the last 3days and do Stockholm ourselves we could maybe see what we want and return to Goteborg to drop car off and save a few dollars in the process. This isn't a big deal for us -- rather just a thought as we mull over things.

Regards... Barry

01-12-2003, 07:41 PM

I spent a year in Uppsala, Sweden, on my sabbatical.  As far as I know both Oland and Astrid Lindgren's park are closed in March/April.   The best thing happening in Sweden during that time is the "Spring" festival in Uppsala University on either April 1st or the first Saturday or April (I don't recall which), with lots of floats and fanfare.      

During the summer months Oland is a great place to be in.  Your best bet is likely to be the glass/crystal factories.  However, check with the glass museums and the showrooms on whether they are open.  The best souveneir we got back from our trip are a few fabulous cyrstal chandeliers.   IMO Kosta Boda and Orrefors are better than the glass factories of Murano, Italy.

01-13-2003, 01:09 AM
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (barrysharp @ Jan. 12 2003,11:31)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">I&#39;ve never been to Sweden so don&#39;t know what I&#39;m in for ;-)[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
We were in Stockholm in March about 10 years ago and, although it was still cold &amp; gray and tourist attractions were closed, we found it to be a beautiful, interesting city to just poke around in. We didn&#39;t have a car -- just walked and took transit.

It sounds odd but I&#39;d recommend a tour of City Hall. It&#39;s unlike any city hall you will see in a U.S. city and the tour gives a good overview of how the city developed. Come to think of it, much of Stockholm is unlike any U.S. cities -- which is a good thing. &nbsp;http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

01-13-2003, 06:23 AM
I agree with the previous poster. &nbsp;Stockholm and Gothenburg are unlike US cities. &nbsp; The central parts are very much Eurpoean (for instance, Gamlastan in Stockholm) and are very nice to visit. &nbsp;Perhaps what I should have said all along is that tourist places in the three major cities (Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo) are likely to be open during Oct through May, whereas they are likely to be closed in all other places (including Uppsala, the fourth largest city).

01-13-2003, 02:22 PM
Contact Volvo OSD Travel department for definitive information on all travel matters [email protected] or 800-730-3555.

01-17-2003, 05:13 AM
first, i hope you have a great trip. &nbsp;we went to the factory in september to pick up our new xc and had a great trip. &nbsp;may i suggest you go to www.virtualtourist.com for travel tips, info, etc. &nbsp;i used this web site for info in planning our month long september 2002 european tour. &nbsp;i regretted not having spent more time in sweden and envy you. &nbsp;the report of our trip and travels are on www.virtualtourist.com, member homepage=RichardBlaine. &nbsp;farahb @ corporate travel is in chicago and she made our plane reservations. &nbsp;while she was great help, i think a better source of info on the specific tour packages would be alexandra at the osd factory delivery center in gothenborg. &nbsp;she answered our email at [email protected] good luck and keep us posted on your progress.



01-22-2003, 06:30 AM

Thanks for your email ref. Here&#39;s what Alexandra at [email protected] responded with. I find the response an excellent one -- so thanks again for your inputs. I post the note here so that other OSD customers can benefit from it.

Dear Barry,

Thank you for your mail.
The hours may vary between each factory. Please see http://www.glasriket.se/ (http://www.glasriket.se/ for) for more info and opening hours on each of the factories you wish to visit. The factories are open all year.

Weatherwise - I would not expect any snow by that time. But spring weather is hard to predict.

When you have your flight information ready - contact us at least four business days prior to your arrival. Please notify me of your flight number, arrival time/date, how many persons will be travelling and which hotel you will be staying at. I will be happy to arrange for your transportation and an appointment for you to collect your new Volvo.

Kind regards,
Alexandra Thorvall

01-22-2003, 09:05 AM
I wouldn&#39;t waste your time traveling around Sweden during that time of year unless you are interested in winter sports. It is generally cold and gray and not much to see. I would just take the factory tour and take the train to Stockholm for a few days and leave. I was just there doing the OSD and even the cab driver ask me why I was there in the winter. Sweden is meant to be visited in the summer, thats why everything is closed.

01-22-2003, 09:19 AM
Hmmmm -- that certainly puts a damper on my visit. As I&#39;m from Seattle USA area it sounds like I would be going from from drizzle to drizzle. Thanks for your advice. I do want to see the Glassworks though and any fine modern Swedish furniture stores.

Are Swedish people friendly?

01-22-2003, 09:43 AM
The swedish people are great. &nbsp;Everyone I came in contact was great and driving in sweden is very easy. &nbsp;Check out the Ice bar in Stockholm near the central station. &nbsp;It is pretty cool.

01-22-2003, 11:40 AM
Hi Barry,
I plan to visit all the fine museums in Oslo: Viking, Kontiki, Fram, FolkMuseum on an island a short ferry ride from Oslo, Oslo also has the Edvard Munch Museum(famous Scream) and a WWII Resistance Museum. The Norway in a Nutshell trip between Oslo and Bergen is definitely worth it in the summer, we will drive it this time hopefully the weather will be clear to allow us a good view of fjords and mountains, Norway visitor indicated that there are 2 roads that should be open in and out of Bergen (E16 and 7). The town of Bergen is also worth a visit. Then we will visit Stockholm and relatives. We expect the weather to be gray and cold, but we pray it won&#39;t be foggy.


01-22-2003, 08:41 PM
The Oslo-to-Bergen looks like a very interesting car drive and I&#39;d like to explore this route. Do you think it will be OK to drive it during 1st week in April?

I&#39;ve looked at map(s) and find it difficult locating E16 (all the way) as it seems to hop about. Route 7 is kinda a mystery as I can&#39;t find it -- it appears to make a more direct path from Osolo to Bergen than does E16.

Is your ref to &quot;Norway in a Nutshell&quot; the train trip tour in a day?


01-23-2003, 12:41 AM
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Do you think it will be OK to drive it during 1st week in April?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

Barry.. you do realize you&#39;ll be driving your new XC70, correct? Hehe, just bugging you. Not that I&#39;ve been there to offer a first person account, but you shouldn&#39;t have a problem regardless of the time or terrain, considering the car you&#39;ll be driving. http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

01-23-2003, 04:14 AM
It would be almost worth going just for the sumptuous herring smogasbord&#33; yum yum&#33;

01-23-2003, 04:59 AM
Barry: All Scandinavian people are nice, most of them anyhow. http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"> I&#39;ve looked at map(s) and find it difficult locating E16 (all the way) as it seems to hop about. Route 7 is kinda a mystery as I can&#39;t find it -- it appears to make a more direct path from Osolo to Bergen than does E16.
[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

Maybe this helps:

Oslo-Bergen (http://www.shellgeostar.com/share/iti.asp?CHOOSE_END=1&ITI_END_CITYCODE=40435120&ITI_END_CITYNAME=Bergen&ITI_END_COUNTRYCODE=NO&VN=Export&VV=&SESSIONID={7D809E5B-88D1-40D3-BE5D-8AB505211BA0}&units=&ITI_MODE_OPTION_vehicule=Time)

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Do you think it will be OK to drive it during 1st week in April? [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

As Taylor (coastal) says, go for it&#33; For all you people that like nature and beautiful panoramas you should plan a trip to northern Sweden and Norway during the summer with midnight sun and all Its really lovely. In the winter Its not the same, some of the best roads, in the meaning of beautiful views are closed (sep- may).

Falron: </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">It would be almost worth going just for the sumptuous herring smogasbord&#33; yum yum&#33;[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

For that you dont have to travel to Norway. Try it out in Gothenburg.

Cheers http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

02-24-2003, 11:18 AM
Just a couple of quick thoughts:

1. Barry, I lived in Seattle for 7 years and I&#39;ve spent a lot of time in Sweden, trust me, you&#39;ll feel right at home weatherwise.
2. The people are very nice if a bit reserved, but if you can pull them out of their shells a bit, they are usually very funny and very proud (justifiably) of their country.
3. The glass factories are open in March albeit with shorter hours, 9am to 3pm (I think). On the plus side it shouldn&#39;t be as crowded or as annoying as going in the Summer. I highly recommend seeing them as they are incredible artists and they do amazing work. Kosta is my favorite for their creative use of color and form in glass but they are almost all great.
4. You&#39;ll be driving an XC 70 so don&#39;t worry much about the roads, you&#39;ll be fine.
5. Finally, a bit off subject but while I&#39;m thinking of it, I can&#39;t remember who was talking about bringing a laptop on the trip but be careful with where you leave it as especially in Stockholm, car break ins are a huge problem.