The water of life

(Posted by Cindy and Anjanette – a collective work)

Last night Arne and Ranveig treated us to a night cap of akvavit (“water of life”) which is made of distilled potatoes, caraway, and other herbs, and is aged in cherry casks onboard ships that travel from Norway to Australia and back.  Authentic akvavit must cross the equator twice.  This process was accidentally discovered by a ship captain who underwent this journey with raw akvavit, and somehow ended up with some left over at the end of the trip back in Norway.  “Oh, this is much nicer now,” the captain exclaimed when he tasted the well-traveled akvavit.  The key is the movement of the boat, and of the akvevit sloshing around inside its cherry casks, which makes it a much smoother finished product.  It was, in fact, very tasty, and something like 80 proof.

Along with the akvavit, we also had a few Aass Beers, and sang the toast, “Å… så svinger vi pa seidelen igpen, hei skål!”  (“Now we are swinging our beer glasses, hi, skål!”) 

The nightcap morphed into a party, as we shared more stories, and then viewed a hilarious video called “Grevinnen og hovmesteren” (The Countess and the Butler) — a video that is traditionally shared at Christmas time in Norway.  It is absolutely hilarious and the butler could be a good representation of how we were after our akvavit! Check it out – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSeuTdd_Ado.  Then Arne started playing some music for us, and several songs by ABBA got us moving, and suddenly the dining room turned into a dance room.  Ranveig, Anjanette, and Arne knew all the words to “Chiquita”, “The Winner Takes It All” and “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.”  They knew all the dance moves, too! The dancing continued through some New Orleans style jazz (played by a local Norwegian band), some traditional Norwegian tunes (heavy on the accordion and similar to polka to the uneducated ear), and finally Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 2, and Suite for Promenade Orchestra Waltz No. 2.  Arne is a very good dancer, especially while waltzing. Edvard Grieg’s Morgenstamning ur Peer Gynt and some beautiful opera (Renee Fleming singing a song to the moon) mellowed us out enough to go to bed.  Ranveig and Arne are both very talented dancers and performed some surprising and graceful moves – we were very impressed that no one was injured. We stayed up until 2:00 AM.  This morning the news had already traveled ahead of us to town about our “partying.”  Both the President of the Sande Rotary Club and the Mayor of Sande seemed to approve.

(Posted by Cindy and Anjanette – a collective work)

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1 Comment»

  Carole Hawkins wrote @

Well that sure sounds like a fun party!!


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