Those of you who have followed me for a while may remember the blog series, I wrote last year, the one where I went around Sweden and visited our visitor mines. It was one I planned to visit, but because of its location, it didn't make it. But when I looked over the directions to and from Vemdalen, Los showed up and I immediately started to figure a little. Wouldn't we be able to squeeze in a visit there while we were in the neighborhood? I fluttered a little with my eyelashes and presented my proposal to Marcin. He couldn't say no either, or maybe he didn't have the guts.
Since this mine is a short distance away, I contacted them before to check that we could really go the "big mining tour", of course we wanted as much mine as you can once you go there. Luckily, they had time for us, and we would also have time to photograph a little. Yippie.
Once there, we see that various projects are ongoing here, interesting. It looks a bit like a construction site with that kind of fence instead of the ones we're used to around mine shafts. The large beautiful wooden building rises in the middle of the area and I sneak straight in to look at the inside, well or it was because I really had to pee.
The light in the wooden building is beautiful with its skylight and the color of the timber. In the middle of the building, it is combined museum and souvenir shop but in the wing buildings we have two kinds of exhibitions: a more historical and a geological one. We have time to look around at both and those who are not normally most fascinated by mineral and ore will probably still be most impressed by that bit and that is also where we stay the longest and peek.
The guided tour
Just at the agreed time, Robert shows up, of course, in 18th-century clothes. We say hello at corona-way and talk for a while and agree on what we want to hear most about on the tour. We get to watch an intro film about the mine's history before the helmets go on (along with some warm clothes) and we walk more down the mine.
Robert isn't just incredibly knowledgeable about the mine but an incredible storyteller and I have every effort in the world to try to focus on taking pictures a little and not being drawn fully into all his stories about the mine and other mines. But at least I came home with some pictures and some film.
When we have walked around the mine for a while and come up again, we get a cup of coffee and a final film about the mine, a more commercial one the one we got to see before. After the coffee, the tour continues in the area and we walk around among the mine shafts and look and he continues his story.
Since we had to wish before what the tour would be about, well then we also learned the most about it. This is how a good guided tour should be, that the guide senses and can adapt the tour a little to the target group (we do the same on the Adventure Tours of course).
As usually I will not write a lot of facts about the mine itself; I think you will take a visit yourself and find out, they are open all year round and have Corona-adapted their tours so you can calmly go there and take a trip.
The mine as such is quite small for a visitor mine and a fairly short history. However, its history is very interesting - both from the time it was active and from the time they made the decision to pump it out again (1989). Without knowing it, we brought one of the gentlemen who took the initiative for the pumping, he followed us on the part of the tour that went above ground and told us a lot of him too. The mine offers many nice nooks and crannies and with nice light. But for those of us with our own headlamp, we would have liked some fine-tuning of cables here and there for the very photogenic part, but I guess it might come with time
Next year it may actually be that they have another shaft to show off, because they were pumping one out when we were there and that's why it looked like a construction site. Of course we had to look down there, too. We also had some time for ourselves in the mine to take pictures, but of course I would have liked more, but it will be a day when we have no time to fit.
I can highly recommend a visit for both you as a mining nerd and for those who just want a cooling tour on the way up to the mountains, there are tours to suit everyone. Who knows how big it's going to be next year. Now I hope Robert can clone himself so they can get more as good guides as him.