First we passed just outside Stockholm, which is very scenic from the water:
But what's this lock and lake all about?
Mälaren was a bay of the Baltic sea until around 1200. By then, because of a process called 'glacial rebound', the two connections with the Baltic, the Södertalje canal and the Ridderfjarden, became to shallow for shipping.
This 'glacial rebound' is the rise of the land, caused by the disappearance of the weight of the ice after the last ice age. At some stage, the rise was as much as 7.5cm per year, now it still is around 1cm per year, a lot in geological terms. The level of the lake is now close to a metre above the level of the Baltic, hence the lock!
During the Viking age, between 1000 and 1150, Mälaren was therefore a Baltic bay and hence there are several Viking villages and old towns and castles around what now is the lake. During the next one or two weeks, we'll do a bit of exploration.
Tonight we are anchored in a quiet bay with a view of Drottingholm Palace, the official residence of the Swedish Royal Family. Not exactly Viking age: it was originally built in the late 16th century.