Blog 11 Lake Vänern 17 July - 2015
Läckö Castle, Dalbergså, Vänersborg
I am guilty - I underplayed Läckö Castle which in fact was a wow. Maybe I was in a funny mood but now I will make it up - entering through the massively thick castle wall into the inner courtyard I was swept away by a young Swedish a capela group singing a haunting unaccompanied piece from several centuries ago - such wonderful singing held me in a spell, I just had to stop, listen and let every other thought fall away. We did go back by boat and moored in the harbour beneath the castle which was spectacularly lit by the sun which also did magic things to the reed beds by the replica Viking ship.
The newly launched replica three masted tall ship "Gothenberg," built with public subscription, passed close to the castle as we left weaving in and out of a great number of motor boats all out to see her and buzzing around like bees at a hive. On the way out through the rocks there was a reminder, if it were needed, to check and double check your course or end up like the tripper boat left stranded on the rocks to rot. Not having tides, there is not waiting for the next high tide to pull her off.
We are mid lake now, in a very sheltered horseshoe bay within a group of islands in the Lüro Skärgård, one of the many natural harbours in the lake which at the moment we share with two other boats some distance away, one at anchor, the other, stern out and bow tied to a tree. How can I tell you what total peace is? We relax in comfort on deck warmed by the afternoon sun with nothing to do other than absorb this extraordinary sense of "something else." The trees are silent, the boat is hushed, not even a bird call can be heard, the water is calm and its undulations barely caress the rock 100 mtrs away. I can feel my ears strain, literally, for absolutely any sound. I look at Jane and we smile knowing we are sharing this same rare experience. It makes you think, doesn't it.
One of the last overnight stops on the lake was at Dalbergså, a lovely tricky entrance into a small river through right angles and turn around the navigation marks by warm pink rocks. Rickety wooden staging where we tied alongside by a sign asking us not to harm the grass snakes who lived in the reeds by the staging as "they only eat frogs and things" - and they also named all four of them.
We have one 50 mile section of the inland waterways left to do - the Trollhattan Canal from the great lake to Gothenberg. Thought for centuries to be impossible to construct due to extreme rapids at one section, however, spectacularly carved out of rock and chains of locks, it will lead us out into the Kattegat between Norway, Sweden and Denmark. We then have a choice of routes through the Danish islands to Germany where we will leave the boat for the winter and who knows what next year ( if we are spared. ) Having completed this section and found so much to say about it, I have decided to end this now at Vänersborg and reserve a complete blog entry for the canal alone.