My holiday in Norway is coming to a close. Except for one day, the weather has been sunny, and my daughter-in-law’s family has been so gracious. Of course, the highlights have been meeting Emma Margarita, my two month old granddaughter, and spending time with my son Carlos and his wife Jeanette.
Traveling to almost any place in the world is wonderful but if you get to visit family while you’re there, it is all the more so.
Jeanette’s mom has taken us on several outings. I think she should go into business as a local tour guide because she is knowledgeable and she drives like a bat out of hell! High-speed Nordic highways, full of speeding Skodas, merciless Mercedes and bruising BMWs don’t intimidate her one bit… 140 kilometers per hour is a mere cruising speed for Elizabeth!
As I also plan to travel to Denmark before going back to Merida, she figured I should have the full Scandinavian experience. So the final destination on the itinerary she planned for me was Sweden. We only drove just across the border, and although I have no passport stamp as evidence… I really enjoyed my 3 hour stay in the country.
Growing up in Canada, Sweden seemed like a far-off exotic land. I thought that Swedish meatballs were much more exciting than regular ones. I considered Ingrid Bergman to be absolutely the most beautiful and accomplished actress ever born, and as a young woman, I danced to ABBA and had my first “encounters” with Absolut vodka… Ja, ja, ja! Sweden was the place of my dreams…
The town we visited is called Strömstad and it looks just like Norway… beautiful seaside scenery, quaint buildings and lovely flowers, but the price tags on everything were considerably lower. We did grocery shopping and paid about 70% of what we’d have paid in Norway. We also bought a couple of bottles of wine and a case of beer. Liquor is a prohibitively expensive luxury in Norway.
Elizabeth looked puzzled when I suggested the “famous” Swedish meatballs for lunch… I guess they are a North American myth, because she had never heard of such fare. She asked if I wouldn’t like to try the “famous” shrimp sandwiches at a seaside pub instead. We ended up having bratwurst, which was delicious.
Tomorrow, Carlos and I will be leaving Jeanette and Emma at home in Moss, and he will accompany me to Denmark where we’ll attend my Canadian niece’s wedding. We so wanted Jeanette and Emma to come with us but the baby is really too young to travel. It is going to be an absolute wretch to say goodbye because in just these 2 short weeks the little one has become my moon, sun and stars…
William Shakespeare said, “parting is such sweet sorrow…” However I don’t feel anything “sweet” about this “parting”; to me it is just plain sad. My one consolation is that the whole family, including Elizabeth and Gunnar, plan to join us for Christmas in Merida. That hope will get me through tomorrow…