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Date: Saturday, June 28, 1958
Fjord Steamer trip and Balestrand

Got up this morning at 6:00 for another huge smorgasbord breakfast, then left at 8:00 for a trip on the Sognefjord, the largest fjord in Norway.

The scenery of course was just beautiful and we changed steamer in mid-stream (or should I say fjord) and continued on to Balholm where we spent the rest of the day at this fabulous hotel right on the fjord which is salt water.

We got here at 12:00, and everyone wanted to go swimming, but since most of us had packed our suits in our big bags that were sent to Oslo, we were wondering what to do! I met this cute fellow (Charlie) from Ohio that walked down to the hotel’s private beach with me and he said I could wear his trunks and borrow one of his handkerchiefs! Mynie Lou had a cold so she let me borrow hers which was really more suitable! I never was in such cold water in my life – just like ice, and was it funny to look up and see snow on the mountains.

Lunch was smorgasbord style and I ate tons, the peach dessert was fabulous. (I had another kind too!) After supper (served family style) Mary, Nancy, Judy H., and I went rowing on the fjord. After listening to violin music I went to bed and at 12:00 it still isn’t completely dark. I just love Norway!

Smörgåsbord is a Swedish term describing a buffet meal, including both hot and cold dishes. The word smörgåsbord translates to “bread and butter table”. Dishes are intended to be eaten in a specific order, starting with cold seafood dishes such as herring and eel. This is followed by cold dishes (cold cuts, pate, pickled vegetables), warm dishes (meat balls, roast beef, boiled potatoes), and desserts.

The smörgåsbord originated in the 16th century with the brännvinsbord, a table of beverages and snacks that people consumed before the main meal. Items included flavored clear spirits, beer, bread, cheese, fish, and meats. The brännvinsbord morphed into the smörgåsbord in the 19th century, as the quantity of food on the table increased. This turned the buffet into more of a main meal.

Rick Steves’ shows us the delicious smorgasbord at the Kviknes Hotel in Balholm, Balestrand, Norway. This must be the “fabulous hotel” to which Judy refers in today’s post:

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