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Krumlov Graphite Mine

We thought a little educational trip down the mine may entail something along the lines of “pay the money, walk in, see a nice cavern, hear a bit about the history, walk out, gift shop, sorted”. Nothing could be further from the truth apart from “pay the money” and the gift shop.

As we paid, we were asked to assemble in a genuine 1960’s communist prefab, then given full overalls, miners hats and torches and wellies.

All dressed and ready to go.

Next we were bundled onto tiny trucks on the back of a mini train for our journey into the mine. The noise was unbelievable as the trucks banged and clattered on their journey deep into the mine.

locked in and ready to go. At this stage we were not prepared for the noise and banging that was to follow.

Eventually the train came to a halt and after a bollocking from the lady in charge about children splashing in puddles we could relax and enjoy. (I felt like saying “ he is two and you are bloody lucky he is not screaming his tits off after that train journey!”).  As the school party we were with moved on, we tended to get left behind which all added to the experience. The Graphite only stopped being mined in 2003 as cheap, and rubbish, Chinese graphite flooded the market. (Any pencil from Koh-i-noor before 2003 had graphite from this mine).

Down the mine, only abandoned in 2003 - being a miner must be rubbish!

In line with local custom we rubbed the graphite on our faces and after a pretty long walk emerged pretty chuffed with the whole mine experience. For anyone around this part of the Czech Republic we would recommend it, partly for the education and partly for the lesson in apparent disregard for the stifling Health and Safety we appear to have in the rest of northern Europe. We all loved it!

 

Every so often we got left behind. It only looks this light because of the flash. It was really dark. The next picture is without the flash!

it really was this dark

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Categories: Europe Tags: , ,
  1. Ste Canning
    June 27, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I once went down the mines at the Black Country Museum when I was about 12 and that freaked me out!! Your kids did very well by the sounds of things. I think Riley wouldn’t of like it one bit.

    • June 30, 2011 at 6:35 am

      The mine was brilliant. It is part of the toughening up process! Next week we are looking to go caving, so that should be interesting. Take care, Alan

  2. fatclive
    June 29, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    The fish say hello but are desperate to know what was in the giftshop?

    • June 30, 2011 at 6:33 am

      Thanks Clive, glad to hear the fish are taking an active interest. As for the gift shop, you can tell the fish it was mainly pencils!

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