Saab Swiss Fondue Meeting, the tenth: on February 22nd the time had come. Guests from half of Europe and, of course, many from France and Switzerland made the small town of Vallorbe in the Swiss Jura the winter Mecca of the Saab scene.
However: no trace of snow and spring-like weather. All-wheel drives and window scrapers could be left safely, although: XWD works without snow. Alternatively, many well-guarded babies with summer tires were allowed onto the slopes, which would have stayed safely in the garage at home.
Many arrived the day before, after all, several hundred kilometers were not uncommon. With the longest journey, the participant weighed more than 1.500 kilometers. And where did it come from? Sure - from Sweden!
All this proves something: this meeting has its own magic, and more Saabisti succumb to it each year. In 2011 there were 56 people, 2016 in 89 and 120 this year, who were infected by the fondue virus. Five toppolas alone show that this is a relevant meeting, there were a total of 70 Saabs to admire from almost all age groups.
On Saturday morning there was an informal get-together in the private home of the two organizers Dimitri and Frédéric. It is worthy of honor that the two make their property available to sweep the rush of Saab fans over it. The principle: everyone brings something to eat or drink from home, and the regional buffet is ready. Here you can talk shop as much as possible, here friendships are made, here you can communicate with your hands and feet. After all, not everyone knows French or Swedish.
In the past few years, there was an exit that took the participants to the beautiful area around Vallorbe, interrupted by breaks, photo sessions, coffee and other shop talks. This year the organizers tempted them with a tour of the picturesque town of Vallorbe and asked very demanding questions at four stations, at which a small motif was then punched into the questionnaire to prove that you were really there.
And of course there were open bonnets en masse in the official parking lot with all the Saabs and the lively exchange of tips as well as mysterious boxes full of rare spare parts.
But at some point it got dark, of course, the Saabs in the parking lot were left to their own devices, and the fan community came together for the eponymous dinner. Three long boards filled the room from front to back, and it was a colorful murmur of voices as the mood rose, the closer the Swiss fondue came. This was really a pleasure for gourmets, rounded off by wine in white, rosé or red, according to taste, the tongues quite loosened and served in a specially printed glass. At some point, usually late, the participants then fell into bed or the toppola to meet again on Sunday morning with a princely Swedish-Swiss brunch.
Then the pack scattered again in all directions, swearing each other beforehand: Next time we will meet again. It is the Saab Swiss Fondue Meeting, the eleventh. However, there will still be 2021 participants in 120 - more simply won't fit in the hall.