In Trollhättan, the Göta, which has the highest flow of any Swedish river, takes a mighty leap, a spectacular sight that has attracted visitors to the town for centuries. The best spots for viewing the falls include Kopparklinten, Nyckelbergeet, and Spikön Island. The waterfalls, with a drop of 31m (102 ft.), once were an obstacle difficult to overcome; however, they have since been harnessed. Today you can see the water flow into the gorge at a rate of 90,000m (295,276 ft.) per second -- but only at certain times, such as during Fallens Dagar in July.
A nearby attraction, about 2km (1 1/4 miles) south of town, is Kanalmuseet, Slussområdet (tel. 0520/47-22-51), which lies at the top of a 31m (102-ft.) "staircase" created by the locks. It tells the story of the Trollhättan Canal in pictures, models, and tools. An on-site cinema shows historic footage of the locks throughout their history. It is open between June and August 20 daily from 11am to 7pm, and off season from noon to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Admission is 20SEK ($4/£2) per person. To reach it from the center of town, follow the signposts pointing to SLUSSARNA ("The Locks").
There's nothing we like doing better here than taking a walk along the falls. The promenade is called Schleusenpromenade, and a walk along this pathway will reveal ruins of the failed canals of the 18th century. In the Gamle Dal'n Park area, locks from the early and mid-19th century remain. Information boards tell of the huge obstacle the falls once presented before they were tamed, and how the unique industrial landscape you see today came about.
If you stroll south on the promenade, you'll reach the Innovatum Kunskapen Hus (tel. 0520/48-84-80), which answers questions about energy and power in the area with slide shows, computers, energy cycles, water pumps, and many more hands-on exhibits. It sounds boring, but you'll find it intriguing even if there's only the tiniest bit of an engineer in you. The 1910 building housing the institute contains 13 massive generators. The admission fee is 60SEK ($12/£6) adults, 40SEK ($8/£4) children 7 to 19; hours are daily 9am to 5pm.
If you cross the canal and head into Trollhättan's industrial hinterland, you'll come to the Saab Bilmuseum, Åkerssjövägen, Nohans Industriområde (tel. 0520/843-44), where you can experience more than 50 years of innovative car engineering. From two-stroke to turbo, the history of Saab is presented dramatically. This museum certainly worked its magic on us: After a visit, we went out and bought a Saab for touring around Europe. The museum displays an example of every model of Saab ever built, as well as future designs. It's open from June 23 to August 24 daily 9am to 5pm; otherwise, Tuesday to Friday 11am to 4pm. Admission is 60SEK ($12/£6) adults, 30SEK ($6/£3) children 6 to 16.
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