“We have time for each other and to just unwind”
Before they got a recommendation to go through it, the Vikander family used to navigate around Göta Canal. Once the Stockholmers had tried it out, they fell head over heels for the wide-ranging offering of experiences and the tranquillity of the canal. Now they return every year to holiday at five knots.
MEASURING 42 FEET, the Vikander family’s motorboat, Triton, is their floating home during the summer.
“In recent years, we have travelled southwards from Stockholm along the east coast, past Denmark and then northward again along the west coast,” explains dad of the family, Jonas Vikander.
“One summer we tested going through the Trollhätte and Göta Canals on the way home. We booked tickets on gotakanal.se, and the service card gave us access to Göta Canal’s marina services with overnight mooring, electricity, drinking water, showers, laundry room, septic tank emptying and latrine sink.
THERE WERE A few reservations about the first trip – not least how lockage would work.
“The lockage process turned out to be an enjoyable feature of our adventure, largely thanks to all the wonderful lock keepers! They greeted us with a smile, moved our boat at a leisurely pace and took the time to talk to the children. The lock keepers made us feel safe on board and have in all honesty really given our holidays that special touch,” enthuses Jonas.
After their début trip, the Vikanders have returned to Göta Canal several years in succession. The children, Odin, Vidar, Bore and Vale, have enjoyed many rollicking adventures.
“Karlsborg Fortress really piqued their interest, as did the children’s mini canal in Norrkvarn and all the adventure golf courses located along the banks of the canal. We have even organised our own treasure hunts in the forest. The children still talk about when they found the chocolate coins that the ‘robbers’ dropped,” recounts mum Frida Vikander and continues:
“Of course the children have a lot of energy, so they need to move between each leg of the journey and be encouraged to get involved during the trip. Sometimes we jog on the towpath alongside the boat or have an easy-going workout on board. The children even get to help with the lockage process.”
THE TRANQUILLITY OF Göta Canal is more than a small perk of the trip. The Vikander family believe that they enjoy each others’ company in a completely different way in comparison with everyday life at home.
“Plying Göta Canal by boat is a very pleasant way to travel. Everyone in the family is aware that the name of the game is five knots. There’s no option but to adapt to the moment and go with the flow. We have time for each other and to just unwind, which is appreciated by the entire family, not least the children,” says Frida.
“And yet there is still so much to experience. You become aware of what an incredible cultural inheritance this is. You almost feel a little proud of having the opportunity to travel in this way,” adds Jonas.
The Vikander’s top three tips for boaters
1. Plan for several extra days of holiday and remember it’s the journey that’s important, not the destination. Then you can truly enjoy the calm and explore your surroundings without feeling the pressure of time.
2. Make detours, for example to Vadstena Castle or Motala. We’ve been able to buy fresh crayfish from fishermen there late in the season.
3. Browse gotakanal.se before setting off. The website basically has everything you need to know.