Close contact on the canal

Being so close to the natural environment – slowly gliding past open fields and fairytale forests on their boat, was an overwhelming experience for Kenneth and Maria Larsson. However, their maiden voyage was not without drama.

Kenneth and Maria Larsson had planned to experience the classic Göta Canal once in their lifetime. “That won’t be the case”, Kenneth laughs. “I will be experiencing the Göta Canal many more times. We were completely blown away.”

Surprising proximity
If you ask Kenneth to explain why the canal exceeded his already high expectations, he returns to the word proximity.
“Well, it’s a little hard to explain. But sitting on your boat, which is your home of sorts and yet getting so very close to the natural environment, there is nothing quite like that and we were both quite moved by it, even though neither Maria nor I are nature enthusiasts.

Another thing that surprised me was the fact that you meet so many nice people with the same kinds of interests. You travel in shifts, kind of, helping each other at the locks and meeting each other over and over again. It’s practically designed for making contact and getting to know one another.

Superb service
Both Kenneth and Maria agree that approaching the first lock felt a bit scary. But after a few locks they had it all figured out. The disposition of the staff at the locks contributed greatly to   their sense of safety.

“They immediately made it all less dramatic. I have never met such extremely service-minded staff before”, Kenneth says emphatically.

Drama in Söderköping
The canal staff came to their help during the minor drama they experienced. On the first day of their voyage, Kenneth and Maria were told that they were going to meet the large canal boat, Wilhelm Tham, on a small canal pound between two locks in Söderköping That alone, was a somewhat stressful thought. As the Wilhelm Tham exited the lock, the throttle on the Larsson family’s day cruiser hung. “Our boat just died and stopped in the middle of the little pound. The Wilhelm Tham came steaming right towards us and couldn’t really brake on a dime if you know what I mean.”
Luckily, it was windy that day. Kenneth and Maria’s boat blew into the reeds and the Wilhelm Tham was able to pass.

“The lock keeper saw what was happening and was there in no time. Amazing service there too.”

Could have stayed for longer
According to Kenneth, a canal holiday offers something different from your regular boating holiday. “You experience the natural environment and all the cultural heritage surrounding the Göta Canal. It is never boring. I could have stayed on the canal for weeks.

Kenneth and Maria’s best tips:
“We made good food a priority and that turned out to be a good idea. There are many great places to choose from. Our favourite restaurant is the one in Norrkvarn.”
“When the water is let into the locks you need proper ropes to hold on to, not thin ones that cut into your hands.”
“Plan to take your time. That way you don’t have to stress to make it to the next lock. There is a lot to see.”

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