Day Three of the Classic Canal Cruise begins with a cruise on Lake Vättern, the highest lake elevation, then we rise to highest elevation of the trip, 91.5 meters through the Berg Canal, and begin the descent through more locks on our way back down to sea level.
We sailed out of Motala early, 0545, but I was up to witness it. We cruised along Lake Vättern and made stop at Karlsborg Fortress. We had planned to take the guided tour, but it was all in Swedish so we walked the parks along the shore.
Cruising again, the Juno passed through Forsvik lock, the oldest lock in the system dated back to 1813.
Entering Forsvik Lock:
This was a beautiful area with the hand dug canal linking natural lakes. We passed through some very narrow areas, where a crew member walked along the shore and assisted with the sharp turns by using ropes.
The wood-lined canals and lakes are the wildest looking part of the canal. We passed some sail boaters and saw campers on the shore. One of the other passengers mentioned that he had heard Sweden refered to as “the most civilized wilderness in the world.” I really liked that, and it seemed to fit.
Lunch was served as we cruised Lake Viken. Today’s lunch was herring, and you can’t eat herring in Sweden without drinking schnapps. So lunch was called S.O.S – Smor, ost and sill (or butter, cheese, and herring).
Julia came around with a platter of many flavors of schnapps. I tried the dill flavored schnapps, one I’d never seen or heard of before. It was interesting. We also sang some well known drinking songs. Although sung in Swedish, they had supplied us with the translations. I never knew the English words to Helan går before, always singing it in Swedish.
After lunch we passed through Tåtorp, a hand operated lock. This lock puts us at our highest elevation, and as we cruised through the Berg Canal, there is a obelisk that marks the highest point. I did look for it, but didn’t see it, as it is made to look like a birch tree, and they did a very good job in that department.
The Hand Operated Lock at Tåtorp:
After lunch we cruised through some very scenic farm land.
In Hajstorp we started to let back down. We had four locks to go through, which allowed us to get out and walk along the canal again for about 1.5 km.
After the four locks and a stroll, we sat down to another lovely dinner and watched the farmland roll by outside the window.
In the evening we reached Sjötorp and a set of eight locks. As the Juno was let down through the locks, we got off again for a short walk and a visit to the Sjötorp Canal Museum. In the last lock the ship was serviced with water and we waited to board. The sun was setting at about 10:30.
During the night the Juno continued to cruise Lake Vänern. Lake Vänern is at 43 meters, so in this one day we had already let down 48 meters of altitude through the old lock system, some hand operated.