Lake Vänern is the largest lake in Sweden and in the European Union. Our route took us diagonally from the SW corner to a point mid-way up the eastern side where we were to meet the girls for the Göta Canal part of the trip.

Whilst refuelling we were advised not to deviate from the marked channels in the lake as lots of underwater obstructions were not displayed on the charts. We therefore followed the channel, waited for the last bridge of the Trollhätte canal to open…

…and then headed into a windless Lake Vänern.

We were blessed with wall to wall sunshine and no wind which gave us the chance to get on with a few jobs. I finally got round to fitting the non-slip tape to the hatches that I’d bought in Alesund on the way north over two years ago!

Midway across the lake is a small archipelago which was our destination for the night. There were a few anchorages but we chose Spiken due to its close proximity to a medieval castle we planned to visit.

The route to the harbour weaved its way through some rather narrow channels but eventually we tied up bows to with just enough water underneath us to keep us afloat and surrounded by reeds.

The following day we took a stroll around Läckö Castle unfortunately just missing a guided tour.

 

The foundations for the castle were laid in 1298 and was originally a fort. After a fire in 1470 it was rebuilt and ownership passed through many hands. It now belongs to the equivalent of the National Trust.

It was quite windy when we left Spiken but by the time we had left the numerous islands and were in a position to sail the wind died away and we motored to Mariestad where we planned to meet the girls.

We moored bows to again in Mariestad right in the centre of town. Capt’n Haddock managed to convince Dr D to visit ‘another’ Indian restaurant for dinner (to be honest it didn’t take much convincing). The girls arrived on scheduled the following day and after dinner on the waterfront we motored the remaining 10 miles up the coast of the Lake to Sjötorp and the start of the Göta Canal.

 

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