Not really wanting to spend our money on a new car instead of travel, we found a way to get both. Using the Volvo Overseas Delivery program, Volvo paid for a trip to Sweden to pick up our new C30.

We picked up our car at the Volvo factory in Gothenburg and spent the next 2 weeks exploring Scandinavia. Due to an unanticipated need for a new car this winter, we ended up going on this trip in Feb/March.  At first we were worried about the notoriously freezing temperatures this time of year but instead of trying to avoid the frigid Northern European winter, we decided to embrace it and head even further north to the arctic circle during the second leg of our trip. To start though, we headed east across the width of Sweden to Stockholm:

Here it is! Our wonderful little Volvo C30 being very patriotic.
Stockholm is an extremely charming European city, and in the winter its charm is quite icy. With 30% of the city made up of waterways, all of Stockholm seemed to either be in, on or around the water. (click on the photo to enlarge)
The waterways of Stockholm were a unique mixture of ice-flows and waterfowl.
In this photo you can see the charming old buildings in Gamla Stan (the oldest part of Stockholm). What you cannot see is the crisp, bitter cold that sucks all the heat out, right through your down jacket. FYI: you can also see Tracy with her snack and two coffees.
One evening while Tracy was studying, I walked over to a small castle(called Kastellet). It sits on a small island connected to another not quite so small island(Skeppsholmen) where our wonderful and highly recommended hotel sits. Much of Stockholm is made up of these little islands giving the city a unique feel of islands, waterways, parks, bridges and ferries.
The Vasamuseet is a wonderfully little museum in Stockholm consisting of basically one exhibit: The Vasa. The Vasa is the worlds only fully intact 17th century ship. A huge and beautiful warship built by the King of Sweden in the early 1600’s which, due to some comically poor engineering, sank on its maiden voyage without even making it 1 nautical mile. If you are making a trip to Stockholm, be sure to find this museum. It is quick, fascinating and very memorable.
We continue to add to our collection of wonderful sunset photos. This one is looking across the water from Skeppsholmen island to Gamla Stan which is Stockholm’s Old Town built between 1300 and 1800.

Stockholm is a very pleasant, if expensive, place to visit. It was quite nice even in the winter and is most likely spectacular in the summer, although I am sure crowds of tourists will descend on Stockholm in the nicer weather. I am really enjoying our several recent trips to major European cities, however I am increasingly wishing that I could visit them 50, 100 or 200 years ago when they were each truly culturally unique places, unblemished by American influence or tourists like me.