...rang in my head after being told it's a must-do. Swedes consider the Göta Canal, dug essentially to link the west coast to the east coast of Sweden, one of its country's wonders. Aside from its impressive 118 mile creation in the early 19th century, the Göta Canal beckons a visit as it carves through the Swedish countryside. A great reason to leave city life behind for a day.
The canal is long. Part of a roughly 382 mile-stretch-of-waterway long. So people do summer bike trips for days that follow alongside the canal and allow for pints and lodging en route. In the eastern entry area of the canal, you'd hardly know it was there. Picture still, peaceful waters (interspersed with about 58 locks). A lazy river-like bend to the canal's course. Fiery colors of leaves like autumn fanfare lining the banks. If the air temp wasn't in the mid-40's, I would have made best friends with an inner tube and jumped in.
This time though, I would have to settle for cycling a mere section of the canal. I hopped on my rented bike and simply followed the gravel path. Passing just a handful of people, for hours, serene countryside enveloped me. A farm here. Some grazing cows there. Sweden was definitely showing me its natural talent. As a country with one of the lowest population densities, there is a lot of room here for Swedes to breathe. Maybe part of the wonder of the Göta Canal comes with the lesson that we all need that breathing room.
I understood why I was told to cruise along that canal. And why the Swedes love it. I'm glad I got to go to Göta. Say that one ten times fast! Just be sure to catch your breath.
The eastern entry point of the Göta Canal from the Baltic Sea
Sculpture of rabbits crossing the river