Days 171 and 172 — Gott Nytt År!!!

We ended 2011 with a fantastic day. It was chilly this morning, frost everywhere but no wind so it was absolutely gorgeous. And things got better from there.

Coming back from doing some shopping we stopped off at a nature reserve and lo and behold the Italian ice cream shop was open, so be indulged.

The Icelandic ponies were in the next field were just chillin’.

In the afternoon we went to Mariette’s folks’ place where we really got down to business.

Fika was followed by listening to some Monk and looking through Olle’s tremendous collection of art books. That was followed by a wonderful meal of oven-baked cod in mushroom sauce with Rice a la Malta for dessert.

The rice pudding is topped with a raspberry sauce. Very yummy. After dinner we watched “The King’s Speech,” which is superb. There is one scene where a newsreel shows Hitler ranting in front of a crowd and Bianca, who otherwise paid no attention to the movie, began growling. Then after the movie, what else but another fika.

Everything up to now was merely table setting for the memorable part of the day.

FIREWORKS!

I mentioned in the last post that fireworks are legal in Sweden on New Years. When I first heard this some months ago I thought it was going to be the sparklers, Piccolo Petes and pinwheels of my childhood. How wrong I was. The fireworks you can buy in Sweden are the same ones used in the major fireworks shows in the U.S, on the Fourth of July. Rockets that shoot hundreds of feet in the air and explode with resounding bangs. I am not exactly sure what this says about either Sweden or America, where these kinds of fireworks have never been available to individuals as far as I know. America is the Land of Liberty but you can’t buy fireworks. Sweden is the socialist worker’s paradise and at midnight tonight we were surrounded by a 360 degree fireworks show that lasted the better part of half an hour. I don’t really know what to make of this but it somehow seems significant.

At any rate, I bought a nice variety of stuff.

I fired our stuff off before midnight, which freed me up to watch all hell break loose at the stroke of the new year. As kids we had pop bottle rockets that shot maybe 40 or 50 feet. These babies on the table were shooting up 3 or 400 feet and then–BOOM! For a fireworks lover like myself it was pyrotechnic heaven.

We got this really fine champagne at our housewarming party in August and saved it for tonight. Every other champagne bottle I have opened I had to work the cork out. This one, I undid the wire and about 3 seconds later the cork exploded out of the bottle. Luckily, I had the bottle pointing up or it could have broken a window or really hurt someone. I hadn’t shaken the bottle and it did not fizz all over the place, but, man, that cork took off. The champagne itself was really smooth, not fizzy and bitter like cheap champagne.

Just after midnight, all hell broke loose as I said. There were fireworks going off all around us for the next 20 minutes or more. This was just in one neighborhood in one city. Had we been in the Bay Area still we might have caught a show in San Francisco, as we did one year or see a show from a distance around the bay. It was definitely a very cool experience to be surrounded by neighbors cutting loose with real major league fireworks. I never experienced that before, but I guarantee I am going to do it again and for many years to come.

Sweden has not been in a war in over 200 years and guns do not seem to be a big deal here, so maybe this is how Swedes get their war jollies once a year.

We hope that 2012 will be as much fun for all of you as New Year’s Eve was for us tonight.

Happy New Year!

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10 thoughts on “Days 171 and 172 — Gott Nytt År!!!

  1. Sorry to complain again, but you’ve now called Sweden a socialist country several times and I must protest. 🙂
    Sweden is not socialist, and the social democrats don’t even have it in their official agenda to turn it into one anymore.

    Great blog otherwise!

    • Lennart, you are probably right. I only refer to socialism as thinking that people are more important than money and capitalism as thinking that money is more important than people. Just my opinion of my interactions with the society. Hell, for all I know Sweden is full of Nazi collaborators to this day!

      • If that’s your definition of socialism, then Swedes are probably socialistic than many Americans. But it’s not the dictionary definition of socialism. 🙂

        Happy New Year, btw!

  2. Dan, Thanks! and Mariette…great photos! As to Sweden’s political posture: Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy of government and a highly developed economy. It is a social government as opposed to an anti-social government.
    Hope this settles it for you, but of course you can call it what ever you want after all it’s your blog!

      • And what do you think…of course. Anyone interested is escaping the slavery originated by the Fed and our Congress, would like it!

        Don’t be surprised if we ask you to find us a house some time in the future, near future.

      • And they apparently have fireworks around Easter as well. Or Walpurgis Night which has something to do with witches. As for a house, Mariette has been looking at houses for three years. It is a hobby or sorts.

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