I awoke at 0400 on day 2 of our cruise, as we made our way through the Söderköping lock. It could have been the amount of light at 0400 or the noise of the water filling the lock, I’m not sure, but I was awake. The light was beautiful, and there were few passengers on deck as the water filled the lock and the Juno rose another few feet.
We had quite a few locks to traverse today, starting right here in Söderköping. As the Juno made her way through a narrow canal, the land around us came to life. We saw a deer in a field, but few people were out and about at 0500. As we approached the next set of locks – 8 in a distance of two kilometers – we asked to be let off so we could walk along the side. This we did, and watched fascinated as the Juno made its way along the canal, gaining altitude with each lock.
I thought that after a few lock ascensions it would become ordinary. But it did not. Each time we entered a lock and the old wooden doors closed and the water rushed in, it was fascinating.
We really gained altitude today, rising from the Baltic Sea to Motala – approximately 73 meters – where we spent the night in port.
After passing the eight locks from Duvkullen to Carlsborg, we cruised through scenic farmland and brought our buffet breakfast up onto the deck.
At just past noon we reached the Carl Johan lock staircase, the longest in the canal system with seven connected locks. We arrived after a few sailboats that we watched climb the lock system.
We also had a tour of a local church, a nice change from being on the ship. We walked to the convent of Vreta that dates from 1100.
After touring the convent, we reconnected with the Juno at the Berg lock system, a very scenic area. The sun was out and it was warm on deck. We cruised past the first of two aqueducts in the canal, and watched the cars pass under us on the roadway.
We had dinner as we slowly cruised through the countryside and passed the second aqueduct at Kungs Norrby and cruisee onto Lake Boren, enjoying Jerusalem artichoke soup with garden cress creme and rye bread croutons, and broiled arctic char with roasted almond potatoes, sour fennel and white wine sauce with smoked rainbow trout roe and Jamtland tiramisu with cloudberries.
The Dinner Show
We passed the Gota Hotel, built in 1908, in Borensberg, Sweden, where we went through a hand-operated lock.
Julia served drinks on deck after dinner.
After dinner I retreated to our little cabin and miss the Borenshult lock system. We spent the night docked in Motala.