It was a full day and, unfortunately, it was raining a lot when we got up. The first activity on the agenda was the final reunion get together in a hall at Haukland. We left the house about 10:30, cruised over to the mainland and then drove east toward Høynes, where my mother and her family were from.
It was still raining quite a bit so being ‘fair weather photographers’, Matthew and I took a couple of photos from the car.
We arrived at the hall and it wasn’t long before everyone had arrived and the place was buzzing with conversation and activity. If you’ve never been to a Norwegian party or have been invited to someone’s house for coffee, you have to understand that the main event is the cakes. Nobody stops off at the grocery store to pick one up on the way – they’re all home made and they’re delicious! I’ve been to several such events during my 15 trips here and I can’t remember seeing 2 cakes the same at any one event. At this event, there were no less than 18 cakes plus a couple of plates of cookies. One woman told Bonnie that she had been to a confirmation where there were 30 people and there were 30 different cakes! I believe I tried a bit of all 18 cakes, or at least my plate, including the trip up for a refill, looked like it.
We were really glad to see tante Arna there. It’s worth repeating that, at age 87, she is the only one of that generation still with us, so it was a treat for everyone to have her there. We heard a few more stories, particularly from 1st cousin Snefrid, who wasn’t able to be with us on Friday or Saturday. Lillian also read a story about our grandfather, Anton Grønbech. Here’s one line from what she read: “….a nice man in all his ways, noble and bramfri (?), while he was one of the boldest sailors on our long coast.”
The last speaker was our cousin Vally, who does a lot of knitting. She talked about Friday Night’s BBQ, when she commented on me not wearing socks. I told her that it was because I couldn’t afford them, but also that I couldn’t afford to buy whole shoes (I was wearing sandals). Earlier, Randi had asked Vally if she came to her house and washed her floors, would Vally knit her a pair of mitts. She presented me with a pair of hand knitted socks and Randi with a pair of mitts. Great fun! I’ve worn the socks and they’re perfect….and colourful.
After the party wrapped up, the 4 of us drove to Borge and the site of the Viking museum, ‘Lofotr’. I had been there recently and Bonnie was there in 2012, so we checked out the gift shop (bought a photo book on the Aurora Borealis) and had a tea in the cafe. We sat next to a couple of young girls from Sweden, who were visiting a friend nearby. When one of them spoke a little Swedish and I spoke Norwegian, we had no problem understanding each other.
When Randi and Matthew finished their tour, we drove them to the Unstad beach, which is very popular for surfing. Even with the cold and rainy weather, there were a lot of surfers in the water.
Our next stop was in Leknes. As if we hadn’t had enough sugar with the cakes, we stopped for my favourite treat: soft ice cream dipped in licorice bits. The girl who served us sure didn’t skimp on either the ice cream or the licorice. They were huge!
It was still raining when we returned to the boat, but not too much, so the short trip to Tørnholmen wasn’t too wet. When we returned, Hans Christian and Dagny invited us to a photography presentation at a hall in Balstad, a nearby fishing village. The presenter was a National Geographic and Lonely Planet photographer. I would have loved to go, but we hadn’t even eaten dinner when they were ready to go. Dinner was Kjøttkaker med brun saus (a kind of hamburger with brown sauce). I hadn’t had that for a long time and it was delicious.