Dalsland Canal


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The Dalsland Canal was conceived in the mid-1800s to provide a communications route through roadless areas of western Sweden. Only short sections of canal between large lakes would need to be built, so the construction was relatively cost-effective. Haverud rapids, however, were a major obstacle. Nils Ericson, the designer of the Trollhatte Canal and the Saimaa Canal in Finland, proposed an amazing aqueduct to carry boats over the gorge.

We really wanted to see the aqueduct, and had considered running the tender up from Lake Vanern. But it was a fair distance, so we decided to visit from Trollhattan and take a cruise instead. What an engineering marvel it is—we thoroughly enjoyed our day along the canal and are very happy to have seen and travelled on the aqueduct.

Below are trip highlights from August 23rd, 2019 along the Dalsland Canal in Sweden. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Trollhattan Station
At Trollhattan Train Station on a day trip to Dalsland Canal.
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Mellerud Train Station
At Mellerud station on a soggy morning to transfer to Haverud.
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Mellerud Bus Station
When we saw signs pointing to the Mellerud Bus Station we were expecting something, well, a little larger.
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Hot Rod
Sure you can hot-rod a Volvo!
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Bus to Haverud
We were the only ones on the bus to Haverud.
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Aqueduct
The amazing aqueduct that carries boats over the Haverud rapids. The gorge is crossed by three forms of transport: boats in the aqueduct, trains on the bridge visible in the background, and a road bridge that we’re taking this picture from.
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Dalslandia
We’ll be taking a trip along the Dalsland Canal and over the aqueduct in the Dalslandia.
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Dalsland Canal
At the bow as the Dalslandia enters the Dalsland Canal.
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Lock Gate
The Dalsland canal is narrow—the maximum boat dimensions are 75ft (22.75m) long and 13.29ft (4.05m) wide, with a 5.9ft (1.8m) draft and a 39ft (12m) air draft. Dirona could fit on length and air draft, but not on width or water draft.
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Double Fill
The second locks we entered were double locks, where both were open and they filled them together. We’ve never experience that before—it was pretty exciting to watch a wave of water approach the boat from the other end of the second lock that then spilled over into our lock.
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Crossing Aqueduct
Crossing the aqueduct in the Dalslandia with a crowd of onlookers and about to pass under the road bridge we took the aqueduct picture from earlier. It’s great that spectators can walk right out on the to aqueduct—we enjoyed walking around it earlier.
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Stern
Enjoying the view from the stern of the Dalslandia. We’ve just passed through four locks at Haverud and risen 32 ft (9.9m).
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Lunch
Our cruise included a delicious lunch of locally-smoked salmon.
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Lock Wall
The Dalsland Canal cruise boats are built to just fit in the canal. As we passed through a lock during lunch, the wall was right there out the window, only inches away.
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Krona
We’d gotten some Swedish Krona in Kalmar in early April, but hadn’t spent a cent yet. Cards are accepted nearly everywhere in Sweden, with many places not accepting cash at all. But on the cruise boat, cash was the only form of payment accepted, so this is the first time we’ve actually spent any.
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Storholmen
Passing the Storholmen Dalsland Canal cruise boat that was heading south to Haverud.
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Lock
Approaching the Mustadfors Lock, where we’ll rise another 10.2ft (3.1m).
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Opening Sluice
Some of the locks are operated by lock keepers along the way, while others the crew of the Dalslandia manage. Here the crew is opening the sluice at the Mustadfors Lock.
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Langed Locks
Approaching the four-lock staircase at Langed, the largest flight along the Dalsland Canal, and the last set that we’ll pass through in the Dalslandia. Here we’ll rise 43ft (13.1m).
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Top of Langed
Intimate and beautiful setting at the top of the Langed staircase.
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Anton Holmedal
We’re not sure how he does it but while talking to us, but skipper Anton Holmedal eases into the lock, inches up to just about touching the front lock sill, waits for the rear does to close, and then eases back into the space made available by the closing lock doors. The Dalslandia at the maximum possible boat size for this lock system.
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Narrowest
Entering the narrowest section of the canal.
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Disembarking
Disembarking from the Dalslandia at Langbron after a wonderful three-hour cruise on the Dalsland Canal.
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Langbron Station
At Langbron “station” for the train back to Mellerud.
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Langbron Bridge
We’d booked only a half-day cruise, but the Dalslandia continues north to Bengtsfors on a full-day trip. Here it is waiting for the Langbron road and railway bridges to open before it can proceed.
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Train to Mellerud
On the train to Mellerud. All the customers that took a half-day cruise like us are returning to the start of the cruise, but we were the only passengers after Haverud.
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Aqueduct From Train
The train stopped on the bridge so we could take pictures of the aqueduct. What an engineering marvel it is—we thoroughly enjoyed our day along the canal and are very happy to have seen and travelled on the aqueduct.
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Nina Bres
The cargo ship Nina Bres passing under the Trollhattan railway bridge as we return back to Dirona.
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Carl-Oscar Lysander
Carl-Oscar Lysander from the local newspaper Ttela had arranged to interview us after we returned from our Dalsland Canal trip. A few times a year, a local newspaper notices are home port is quite distant and comes by to talk to us. For the next couple of days, people all over were recognizing us from the newspaper.
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Karl Johans Park
Looking across Karl Johans Park to Villa Stranna
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Butlers
A delicious meal over a bottle of Barolo on the terrace at Butlers in Trollhattan.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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