On Tuesday morning we got lucky as in the morning lock keeper decided to raise the boats from lower harbour first. We started our ascent at 9am. During the previous evening we walked the seven part lock up and it was built by the same way as the doubles, it only had more parts.
Carl Johan’s flight of seven locks is the tallest on the Göta canal. The height difference is 18.8 metres. These locks are one of the biggest attractions on Göta and thousands of tourists visit every year to see boats and cruise ships going up and down. No wonder that we got our share of being photographed while Andrus steered Suwena into the first lock and I started the line handling.
The lockage took about 1.5 hours on our way up. Going down it is much faster, altogether about half an hour. Suwena crept a lock by lock towards Berg where we want to spend an extra day.
Berg is one of the key places on the Göta canal. Downstream is the Carl Johan’s flight of seven locks and immediately upstream is two double locks. All these provide a plenty of entertainment for visitors. There are also restaurants close to the locks. It is possible to eat and watch boats in locks at the same time.
There is a pathway along the whole Göta canal. Originally it was used by bulls and horses for pulling ships along the canal. Nowadays the pathway is for recreational usage and there are many people walking, jogging and biking. On Wednesday we also dug out our foldable tandem bike and went for a biking trip. Berg was full of hikers, caravans, boaters and hotel guests. Altogether we had a splendid National Day of Sweden in Berg.
From the 58 locks of the Göta canal now 22 are behind us. We will still raise the next 16 locks to the highest part of the Göta canal. The canal raises to 92 metres above the sea level. When passing the Göta canal from east to west there are 38 locks to raise up and 20 to lower down to lake Vänern. Going up takes more work with the lines but is anyhow a nice way to pass the time.
The 58000 soldiers must had some digging to do while building the canal in 1810-1832. The canal’s length is 190 kilometres from which the hand dug part is 87 kilometres long. The canal was built to help Swedish industry for transporting the goods from the middle of Sweden to the coast. It is great that the canal is preserved and well maintained. Nowadays boaters and cruise passengers together with bikers and joggers along the banks can really enjoy this magnificent achievement.
Looking from the boater perspective, being on the canal is simple. One payment includes the lockage and marinas for three weeks. One keycard opens service blocks in every marina and we can stay up to five nights any of the canal marinas. This way we can relax and enjoy the boating and no need to worry about checking in or making marina payments every day.
On Thursday our voyage will continue and we’ll see where we get before locks will be closed at 6pm.