The Göta Canal is one of Sweden’s best known and most popular tourist attractions. It’s close to our summer house and we visit it often. An impressive construction – let me start with some pics – click to enlarge – (the canal history in the end of this post!):

The canal locks – A romantic boat ride with my wife

I often tell you about my quality times with my wife. We had one of those here two years ago on an old river boat which is now used as a tourist boat. We packed a delicious picnic lunch of fresh shrimp, a loaf of French bread and a cold bottle of white wine and enjoyed it on board while cruising through the lovely country side. If one could save time in a bottle… but then again we have the pics and precious memories.

Biking along the canal – Sailing the canal with private boats

Mini canal for the little ones:
The area around the Norrkvarn locks near Lyrestad has been transformed into a world of adventure for the whole family. A miniature of the canal and this summer, we even watched a children’s theatre and several children’s activities were arranged. The mini canal is just 80 cm wide and 10 cm deep – a popular excursion for young and old. See some pics from this year:

Taken with my Nokia mobile phone

The canal history:

I know my regular readers like some facts, so here we go: The canal was built between 1810 and 1832. Construction was initiated and headed by Baltzar von Platen. It was one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in Sweden. It stretches from Sjötorp on Lake Vänern where we have our Summerhouse to Mem on the east coast. It has a length of 190 kilometres and a total of 58 locks. Of this distance, 87 kilometres are man-made.
In 1806, Count Baltzar von Platen, naval officer and government minister, produced a treatise on Canals and was later asked to submit a plan for the Göta Canal. On 11 April 1810, King Karl XIII issued a charter allowing the Canal Company to build and operate the Canal, and granted the company labour, land and forests for the project.
It was largely built by 58,000 billeted soldiers from 16 different regiments. During the 22 years building was in progress, about 60,000 men, including a company of Russian war prisoners and a number of civilian workers, worked a total of about 7 million man-days, each of 12 hours.

Update: Locks – Taken with my Nokia Mobile phone 2006-07-30

Most of the Canal was excavated by hand using iron-shod wooden spades. Work mainly consisted of digging, blasting and dressing stone. Baltzar von Platen also introduced several new techniques using various equipment from England. A number of highly skilled English foremen were recruited. Read more about the canal by clicking here.

One of my regular reader and commenter on this post, Pearl, has provided information about a similar canal in North America. I’ll thank her so much for sharing and recommend you take a look for yourself by clicking here! Please visit Pearl and give her credit for this information too!


  1. My husband & I, used to have this kind of activities during summer. We’d love to do it but we have extreme heat & kids to consider..

    Lovely shots as usual:)Enjoy your weekend renny!

  2. Was over in Sweden for a short stint some years back but never made it there. Much too busy ogling the guys in Stockholm :)


  3. Hello!

    another interesting place!

    romantic boat ride?oh i like that!

    Thanks for another information about Sweden Renny…

    nice shots as usual!!!

    oh by the way i have some new shots too! visit…thanks in advance*wink*

    happy weekend!

  4. I need a vacation soon, you need to win the lottery so my hubby and I can come visit you. I voted for your blog again.

    From my house to your house in Norway…love, hugs, and Blessing from God in Heaven


  5. What a lovely and interesting place to visit! And I still can’t believe your phone takes such good pictures! Mine isn’t nearly that good. :-)

    Thanks for sharing, Renny. :-)

  6. A real friend not only goes out with you anywhere you go but also remembers you no matter how busy they are, who takes their time to say, “Hi Friend”

    schönes wochenende(happy weekend) renny!

  7. Thanks for the congratulatory note! Your site is great. The photos are wonderful. I just cast the 103rd vote in your favor! Good luck!

  8. that’s mini canal with the children’s activities looks like a completely charming place for a nice family outing.

  9. What lovely photos! I have this sudden urge to go to Sweden!

  10. What a cute mini-canal. I live near a canal, the oldest in continuous use in North America:

    Lots of friends and family are celebrating within these two weeks, almost none of computer-users tho.

  11. the place is so beautiful, perfect for family bonding =)

  12. Ah yes, I’ve been to Göta Canal (though at Uddevalla.) Lovely photos!

    I voted for your blog. It was an well deserved vote since I always enjoy reading your posts. Not only do I learn a lot about places you describe but I enjoy the personal perspective you add. I look forward to returning. :)

  13. As usual I enjoyed stopping by your blog. Sweden looks lovely…it’s another place where I would like to visit. ohhh what model Nokia phone do you have…because those pics are exceptionally clear (considering it’s a cell)

    I’ll drop by again soon.

  14. charles ravndal

    This is nice. I like the pictures and it’s true that Sweden is beautiful as well. Vår Sõta Bror.

  15. We took a cruise last fall to Alaska and loved the ease, the romantic side and the views. I would love to do canals.

  16. Voted for you Renny!
    Thanks for visiting again….
    I think I’m going to check out wordpress

  17. hmmm, i do enjoy a romantic boat ride, and it seems a nice place to visit. maybe soon.

    happy weekend Renny!

  18. It’s refreshing to read about a man who knows how to treat his wife. The bored gods salute you!

  19. @CheH: I’ve heard that you have it even hotter than in Scandinavia yes. Enjoy you weekend too!

    @savante: Hope you’ll have time for some sight seeing next time Paul!

    @yorokobee: Thanks for the nice compliments and comments! I’ve seen you pics which where great too!

    @Barbara: I’ll check when I’m back in Norway Monday! Have a great weekend.

    @Diane: I’m glad you liked it and yes, the phone is good and handy:-)

    @ Racky akaBakyaNiNeneng: Hi Friend and schönes wochenende to you too:-)

    @Nooner: Thanks for the comment and your vote!

    @Lime: Yes it’s perfect and fun for the adults too you know.

    @osquer42: Thanks and you are always welcome!

    @Pearl: Thanks so much for the canal link – I love it when people share and exchange such information. It was great too see! What’s the celebration?

    @Scart: Yes it is – thanks for the visit!

    @LynAnne: How nice to hear from another canal visitor! Thank you so much for your vote and your kind words as that is one of the ideas of my post you know. Welcome back any time!

    @Amanda: Thanks for your kind words and yes Sweden is great. Soon I’m back in Norway to share more from the Nordic so please stay tuned. I have a Nokia 6680.

    @CharlesRavndal: Yes, vår söta bror (our Nordic sweet brother) are great:-)

    @Maribeth: Thanks for sharing and yea, do the canal next time!

    @Chrissie: Thanks for your vote and visit and welcome back any time!

    @Mmy-Lei: Glad you enjoy and hope you’ll come and visit! Happy weekend to you too:-)

    @AnneJohnson: Thanks for your salute! Yes I count my blessings and my wife is the most precious one you know:-)

  20. wow – that looks like so much fun! Thanks for all of that history to go with it!

  21. Your blog is great read. I definately need to make this a regular stop on my nightly rounds.

    Thanks for stopping by The Bull Speaks!

  22. are those your kids? they’re goodlooking. and you know what renny? remember me describing you as someone who loves his country so much? actually, based on your posts, it’s just not your country that you love so much.. but also your family, especially your wife :)

  23. Ooh, that boat trip through the canal looks like a nice thing to do =)
    and that mini canal is so cool! haha =D


  24. That’s very a very interesting place.

  25. I love canal’s they’re great in the summer for some peace & quiet and great scenery. I enjoy going to English one’s.

  26. anyway, since you commented on my blog, i’m obliged to do the 8 tasks about you.. :)

    it’s in my comments area..

    have a nice day! *hugs*


  27. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    Very Very interesting Renny. I’ve never been to your country and the history of these canels and locks is very very interesting. Thanks for the pictures and the background, and thanks for your visit, too! A Happy Sunday to you.

  28. Well, you managed to pick four of the most beautiful weeks to visit Sweden! The weather has been incredible this summer, but these last days we’ve had some well-needed rain. The Swedish summer is fantastic – but all too short.

  29. Awe… that is so sweet. Wish that our whole family would hang out in places like those. But… well, my dad’s working in China. It’s nearly impossible for us to chill ourselves in tourists spots even here in the Philippines with all the members of our family.

  30. Pearl's new blog

    Aw, you’re so sweet. You didn’t have to give me credit. Pleased you liked the link and info. :)

    There’s been an announcement at my site since you had been. I’ll give you a clue with my comment link. :-)

  31. Great photos, as always. :-)

  32. I dunno why Scandinavia is so close to my heart. I havent been there but your blog tells me a lot about it already. Am pretty sure i will like it there.

  33. Mother of Invention

    Love the sailboat picture! You and your wife ae lucky people to have so much special time together! You got my vote, Renny!

  34. @ExpatTraveler: Yes, I think a bit of history background makes it more interesting too.

    @BullJones: Welcome back, day or night:-)

    @tin-tin: Well, one of them is my wife’s. Yes, my wife and family means a lot to me and this blog is about my daily life you know:-)

    @AngelikaJane: Yes it was great and cool. Thanks for visiting me again!

    @Grish: Yes it is and thanks for your visit too.

    @Claire: Yes, perfect for some quality times you know.

    @aiRah: I’ll check back. A nice day and a hug are returned!

    @OldOldLadyOfTheHills: Thanks for your nice comment and compliments. Have a great week ahead!

    @Annika: yea I agree, short but sweet and I’ll be back soon you now:-)

    @AsiaticNeil: Thanks. Hope you have the chance for a family gathering once in a while tough!

    @Pearl’sNewBlog: Okay, but it was much appreciated and made the post even more interesting. I’ve been to your new blog and really recommend others a visit too!

    @Talamasca: Thanks – have a great week ahead!

    @aceian: I’m glad you’ve got an idea of the Nordic through my blog and you are welcome any time!

    @MotherOfInvention: Yes we are and I count my blessings. Thanks for you’re vote and I won you know:-)

  35. Pingback:Swimming in Göta Canal at Sjötorp in Sweden

  36. Ciekawa strona, trafilem tu przypadkowo, ale od dzis bede wpadal czesciej, pozdro

  37. Thanks for sharing this information all this are of extreme use.

  38. Pingback:Boat trip on Lake Vänern from Sjötorp to Mariestad

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