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If you really concentrate, you can sense it. You feel the energy of sincere joy, generosity, and pure love radiating from every child’s letter to Santa. This time, the children are not asking Santa for anything. Instead, they wish something original for him.

The letters with such unselfish contents will warm your hands and soothe your soul. Now, the participating ŠKODA KAROQ cars have their boots full of such letters, carefully placed in red bags. It’s a wonder that all this positive energy doesn’t cause them to fly through the air like Santa’s sleigh.

But let’s get our feet back to solid ground (or our wheels, as it were). The new compact SUVs have become four-wheeled mail carriers. They put on their winter tyres. Their crews donned winter jackets (and just to be sure packed snow chains, towing ropes, and fuel canisters), then set off on the journey over thousands of kilometres to Lapland, collecting sincere children’s wishes along the way and absorbing the proper Christmas spirit. You can read more about the whole in this article, but now it’s time to get rolling.

Children’s wishes to Santa



HEADING UP TO SANTA’S!

The first group, with cars the colour of the Christmas Tree and Santa’s coat, had set out in Chișinău, Moldova, and churned through wide straight motorways as well as narrow, windy roads, through rain and fog as the crew heightened the mood by listening to Christmas carols. They then drove through Romania, stopping in Bucharest, where the team members took on another bag of children’s letters to Santa, and on towards Bulgaria. They crossed the border on a bridge spanning the River Danube, and Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, welcomed them with a Christmas market that had brought out throngs of people. Everyone was enjoying the Christmas spirit, chatting, and drinking tea. One already could feel the approaching Advent in the air.

The first group, with cars the colours of the Christmas Tree and Santa’s coat

From this southernmost point of the entire trip, the caravan headed north, across the spectacular mountain range around Sićevo Gorge, so imposing and majestic with its rugged rockiness that it easily could be a backdrop for the next James Bond movie. After another several hundred kilometres on motorways, they reached Belgrade, which was all dressed up in festive decorations and emanating the Christmas spirit.

True Christmas ambience

Sićevo Gorge National Park

The next day, the group headed to Vienna, with its Christmas markets celebrated across all of Europe for their robust and authentic atmosphere. And the mood is truly everywhere – one feels it even from the small details in every street, the surrounding sounds and smells. These emanate not only from the main Christmas market but also from a dozen smaller ones, popping up at Vienna’s every larger square. Christmas is truly the best time of the year!

At this point, the stage belongs to group number two. They had started from Berlin and also had two ŠKODA KAROQ cars – one in the colour of Berlin’s steely-grey clouds and the other white as pure snow, such as the caravan may expect to find at its destination in Finland. After drawing the name of the family that will join the other lucky winners from all around Europe on this trip to Santa’s village in Lapland, the members of the expedition set right out to explore Berlin. The Christmas spirit is palpable here, as well. One feels it everywhere – in the glow and twinkling of the city’s lights and in the gleaming eyes of its inhabitants.

The second group started from Berlin

ŠKODA KAROQ – white as pure snow and the colour of Berlin’s steely-grey clouds

A stop in Bratislava

The following day, the two teams drove on to Warsaw their point of rendezvous. While the Eastern team had taken a detour across Slovakia and the Czech Republic, the Western one had driven a more direct route. They met in Warsaw, thus assembling the complete four-car ŠKODA KAROQ caravan, which quickly became the centre of everyone’s attention. It was also an ideal opportunity for a night-time photo shoot with the expedition’s cars. From Warsaw, the group drove to Lithuania. Together, they had travelled more than 2,700 kilometres and they still have 1,000 kilometres to reach the Baltic shores, from which they will ferry to Scandinavia.