“What a unique opportunity it is to have this cultural treasure in Sweden – and that it’s so easily accessible”

On a roll with the family

They had actually intended to wait until the children got older – but the longing to cycle along Göta Canal got too strong. Their solution was to take a shorter trip, which turned out to be a real hit. Meet the Myhre family, who have cycled from Norrkvarn to Hajstorp – and back again.

GRAZING COWS, BIRDSONG and boats chugging by while the gravel crunches under cycle wheels. Wheeling along the canal with the whole family was just as wonderful as Annika Myhre had envisaged.
  “It was so idyllic – almost meditative in a way. What a unique opportunity it is to have this cultural treasure in Sweden – and that it’s so easily accessible,” enthuses Annika, the mum of the Myhre family.
  The children Sebastian, Julia and Nelly are 10, 8 and 4 years old respectively, so the plan was to take a relatively short trip totalling 10 km. The journey started at Norrqvarn Hotel & Conference where the family had rented the yellow lock house for a couple of nights. After renting the cycles from the reception, the journey towards Hajstorp could begin. It soon became clear that the boats and locks were the highlight of the trip for the children.
  “Since we didn’t go that far, we had time to stop and see all the exciting things along the way,” says dad Tobias. “Nelly got to help the lock keeper open a lock. It was a really big deal for her. She found it fascinating to watch the boats ‘go up the waterfall’ as she described the lockage process.”

BECAUSE THE OLD towpath is free of cars and basically completely flat, it was easy to get to Hajstorp. Shrimp sandwiches and fika awaited them at Hajstorp Slusscafé & Vandrarhem.
  “A really cosy place, a bit like the picture you have of a Swedish summer idyll. We also went into Hantverk kring kanalen (The Crafters Around the Canal), which has a museum upstairs. So we got a generous helping of crafts and history to boot,” laughs Annika.
  With full stomachs, the family pedalled the five kilometres back again to spend another night in the lock house.
  “We might have planned for a slightly longer trip if we had known that the route could be cycled so easily. But this short trip gave us opportunities for more spontaneous stops at the locks. Special moments there were the icing on the cake,” says Annika and continues:

“The following day we visited the children’s mini canal in Norrkvarn, where our children could pass small plastic boats through miniature locks themselves and connect their experiences from the cycling trip. The Göta Canal visit lasted two days, but it was absolutely one of the highlights of the summer.”

Photos: Annika Myhre, resfredag.se