See, about 10 months ago a third cousin looked me up on Facebook. My Grandfather was born in Sweden in 1914 and then his family emigrated to the US when he was 2. But his parents and grandparents had a million siblings and a lot of them stayed in Sweden and so I have a lot of relatives over there.
My mom visited when she was in college, but we've never been so it was super fun to chat with my cousin, Clara, who's about 9 years younger than me. Kind of amazing considering how the generations had to line up to make that work.
Anyway, I never imagined in less than a year I'd have the chance to visit her! Until my in-laws announced they were going to Sweden to buy a new Volvo. (Apparently it's cheaper to buy a new one overseas, and they throw in the travel!) When I heard they were going I said I was so jealous because of my family there and they so amazingly offered to let me come along!
So I left the troops at home with my mom and Brian and away we went to Sweden!
Can I say I've been to England now if it was only in the airport? It was super gray and rainy.
Not much view of anything while flying, but finally 26 hours after I left home we arrived in Gothenburg!
Sweden, home of Volvo, there was even one in the arrivals hall. And I was super surprised that we had passport control, but no customs.
We stayed in a fun hotel right downtown in Gothenburg, the Radisson Blu.
We had interior rooms and it was a very pretty atrium. I've never stayed in a hotel like this before.
First day, picking up the car at the Volvo factory and taking a TOUR of the actual production factory. Sadly we couldn't heard the tour guide over the noise of the factory, but it was really amazing to be inside and see the production line going. There were something like 3,000 employees there and yet there were so many robots moving things around, putting them in place, and welding them. I was definitely wishing we could take pictures, but that was expressly förbjuden.
After the tour, and lunch (Swedish meatballs with Lingonberry sauce of course!) papers for picking up their car. I think they brought me along as the official photographer.
They even get to keep their Swedish license plate!
The official new owners!
Getting all the details, this car has buttons and bells and whistles like you wouldn't believe.
And then we drove off in a foreign country where you can't read the signs...
To the Volvo museum where we could take pictures.
Lots of history and various models of old cars. Almost all of them could still be driven today.
Except maybe this one! An XC90 made entirely of Legos except for the undercarriage and wheels. Something like 200,000 Legos.
Check out the details!
And then we found ourselves in a traffic jam (not that bad), but took the wrong route and went under downtown! Good thing ipads have gps so we could get back to the hotel!
Then my cousin Clara came down to meet me and she and I rode the tram back to her apartment to start my family adventure! More on that later!