In love with the Canal

Lotta and Stefan Boqvist made their first trip on the Göta Canal in 2015. When you talk to Lotta about her experience of the canal, she sounds almost in love. You can, without exaggerating, say that the Göta Canal took her by storm.

“It is so incredibly beautiful! All the lovely little places you pass through – each village is better than the last one. Everything was completely amazing!

Exceeded expectations
Lotta and Stefan left Norrtälje in the middle of June for a fairly long boat journey. They travelled the entire canal and then rounded southern Sweden on their trip back to the Stockholm archipelago. Even though they had high expectations for the Göta Canal, they were all exceeded, according to Lotta.

“The Göta Canal is a classic, so of course we have seen pretty pictures and all that. But in fact it actually is very beautiful, some stretches are literally breathtaking. You pass plains, lovely little lakes, fairytale forests and wonderful little villages. It is truly magical!

Stefan agrees and he was also impressed by the way things were organised:
“I’m an entrepreneur and I’ve seen my fair share of outfits and the Göta Canal is one of the most awe-inspiring organisations I have ever encountered. The young people working the locks are fantastic. I am profoundly impressed.”

Their journey took place without any hitches. At one point, a bridge refused to open, recounts Stefan, but the matter was resolved within minutes following a phone call to the service personnel

A different kind of boating holiday
Lotta and Stefan felt that their tour of the canal was in many ways different from their previous boating holidays.

“Usually, you end up by cliffs, swimming and sunbathing. That can be nice too but the canal is something different entirely. Here you are treated to new views every day – all the time, in fact. It also becomes social in a different way, you meet people at the locks who you then encounter again and again. That creates a special kind of bond. We were for instance, invited to visit a nice couple from Söderköping. That would not have happened on a regular boating holiday.

“Compared to a regular holiday out at sea, the Göta Canal is far better”, says Stefan. “Everything is closer by. You never know what awaits around the next bend and the nearest harbour is never far away and incidentally they are all of a very high standard.”


Their sons were greeted with champagne
The couple’s adult sons Jonatan and Tobias chose to cycle alongside the canal but then met their parents at the locks in Berg and joined them for a few days. Their arrival was celebrated with champagne and a three-course dinner.

“It is great both to travel on the canal and to cycle alongside it. Especially the stretch going west from Berg, which is perfect for cycling. Further to the east, the terrain is more rugged and there are a few lakes to cycle around.”

The first time but not the last
Lotta and Stefan will, undoubtedly, return to the Göta Canal. When they do, they will most likely stay for longer. “Next time, we will take our time. Now we’ve covered the canal in a week. We could’ve stayed our entire holiday.”

The best tips from the Boqvist family
Read up before your trip. There are many lovely little spots along the canal that you shouldn’t  miss.”

“If you are travelling a shorter distance than we did, we recommend the area between the east coast and Lake Vättern, which was the most beautiful.”

“Don’t miss the ice cream at Smultronstället in Söderköping, the lagoon by the locks in Berg, the abbey in Vadstena and especially not the stone-clad channel you travel through on Lake Viken. That is one of the most beautiful things we have ever experienced.

 

The Boqvist family travelled on the “Göta Canal Classic” ticket.