A boat trip with M/S Marianne from Sjötorp on Göta Canal to Mariestad, the pearl of Lake Vänern, was a breath taking experience. It was done while having a visit from the in-laws from USA and we took them for a four day trip to our vacation home in Sweden. Of course I will share some of the highlights with you – lets start with the dock where the boat was anchored:
The lower Port docks in Sjötorp on Gjöta Canal
Sjötorp and Gjöta Canal:
The village is the most frequently visited place in the rural district and the start of the Göta Canal with all that this implies; leisure-boats, passenger-ships, car-tourists, bicycle-tourists, fishing-trips etc. Here you’ll find shops, restaurants, sleeping accommodations, wharf, museum and tourist-office.
Göta Canal is one of the largest construction projects (1810-1832) ever undertaken in Sweden. The canal stretches from Sjötorp to Mem, 190 km long and has 58 locks. To learn more, read my post about it: “Summer at Göta Canal” (click pic to bigyfy & enjoy):
The last lock before the boats enters Lake Vänern.
The Motor Ship was built in 1897 in Gothenburg for personal use of Captain Fredrik Pettersson and rebuilt as a passenger boat in 1926. The vessel is built of iron in the clinker. It’s a two masts beauty in 24 meters length and 4 meter wide – just take a look:
Below: Fine hard wood interior on and below deck
Geologically, the lake was formed after the last ice age about 10,000 years ago; when the ice melted, the entire width of Sweden was covered in water, creating a strait between Kattegat and the Gulf of Bothnia. It’s northern Europe’s largest and covers an area of 5,655 km². It is located at 44 meter above sea level and is on average 27 m deep. The maximum depth of the lake is 106 meter. A Viking ship was found on the lake’s bottom on May 6, 2009.
You reach the island of Torsö by a gently rounded bridge with a beautiful view overlooking Mariestad. It offers several beaches as well as a camp ground and private cabins for rent. Click to read my last post about this beautiful place: “Torsö Island at Mariestad”
Mariestad, the Pearl of Lake Vänern:
Our vacation home town of which I have posted from often is called “The Pearl of Lake Vänern” and for a lot of reasons (see related posts below). Knowing the area quite well, it was kind of special to approach this city from the water. It’s easy to spot the Cathedral; build in the 15th century by the city’s founder Duke Charles, who later became King Charles IX of Sweden. The city is named after his wife Marie of Pfalz:
Talking about it; here is a pic I took with my new Nokia x6 when we had dinner at the harbour restaurant the other day – I just could not resist trying to capture the golden beauty of the sky:
Some related post from Mariestad:
-> Wandering through time in old Mariestad
-> MidSummer or Summer Solstice in Norway and Sweden
-> Red hot sky and icy cold Scandinavian beach beauty