Our last days in Norway were spent on the coast, in a small, but popular summer destination, Hvasser. We rented a hytte (cabin/cottage) that was only a 3 minute walk from the water. We were there to celebrate a family member's birthday so a weekend of festivities awaited.
We stopped on our drive down at a nice little restaurant on the dock in Tønsberg called Esmeralda.
I had fried catfish which was perfectly flaky, fries and a curry aioli dip, which was addicting. Everyone at the table took a dip in the light yellow dish. The slaw on the side was perfectly dressed with just a bit of vinegar.
Nice, large, and pink shrimp came cocktail style.
The house burger was cooked well, but wasn't as good as the one from Eger & Co.
Esmeralda watched over us as we ate.
Once in Hvasser and after carrying our bags, the fishing poles, and some food for breakfast from the car, we took a walk down to the water. Later in the evening we walked to a local pizza joint on the water, literally, and met up with at least 50 others, and took part in the first of the festivities.
AtSolsiden, the wine, beer, and pizza flowed. It was "American style" pizza, which meant essentially, that it was thicker crust and had lots of different things on it, but cut in squares always. It looks maybe not so great in this photo, but I was really surprised at how good it actually was. It was rainy and chilly sitting on the dock, so my sister and I ordered some tea to keep us warm.
By the evening's end, we walked ourselves home under a gorgeous sky which wasn't pouring water on us anymore. It doesn't get very dark in Norway in the summer. At this point it was past ten o'clock and the sun could still be seen in the distance.
In the morning, we drove to the town next door, from where we took a boat ride along the coast for a couple of hours. Before venturing off, I followed my sister and husband to a boutique cafe, just a short walk from the dock and ordered a latte, although it ended up being a cappuccino. The owners didn't seem to really know what they were doing. It was more of a hobby I believe and they decided to turn it into a business. The boutique was cute at least.
The weather was on our side, and although there was a cool breeze, it was cozy. Some of us stayed at the back of the boat, tucked in warm blankets and enjoying the view from there. I did sneak out to the bow though to get some photos.
About half way through the ride, champagne was served.
I volunteered to open the bottle. It gave me some resistance, but I popped the top eventually, spilling some on myself, but happy to have achieved it, regardless of my lack of grace in doing so.
Once everyone had been served, I went back to taking a few pictures and then cozied under a wool blanket again.
Once back on solid land, the sun truly came out and the part continued, after a slight change of dress. A man opened champagne bottles with a sword (well well well, a bit of competition I see), before we were lead up behind the house to set off some "cannons".
With a glass of champagne in one hand, it was hard to fully cover my ears when the loud pang went off. After our trip back in time, we were taken down to a large garden tent, where we would have a delicious dinner of home made fish soup and rolls.
My first bowl was lacking in chunky seafood, so when I was ready for another bowl, I told my husband to dig down to the bottom of the bowl (sneaky) and get the good stuff. He came back to this, thanks to a little help from my sister.
We shared the bowl and enjoyed every bite.
At one point during the party, my sister discovered a bowl of abandoned strawberries that had been being used to put in the champagne glasses, and went to town on them. We love strawberries.
We talked and laughed as the evening went on with music in the background, played by a local guitarist. We headed back to the city the next day, but not until we had a little boat ride of our own that included an unsuccessful attempt at fishing.
Although I didn't have any luck with the fish, I managed to do my own version of the Titanic pose.
On Monday, after a seven hour flight, we eventually landed just outside of New York City, and waited for our last flight to Phoenix, with a great view of the city.
I've been traveling for most of the early summer, from Maine to D.C. to Japan, and finally to Norway. I think it's time to finally stand still...for a little while at least.