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Published: October 1st 2017
Geo: 51.9045, 10.4278
It was foggy and rainy today, but we had a great visit to the Rammelsberg Mines. We started the day (after brekkies at the hotel) with a stroll around the old town of Goslar … some lovely architecture and very well-preserved. We can see why it's a UNESCO site.
Around 10 or 11, we drove up to the mines, just a few kilometers away. We were able to get tickets for a 1:15pm tour … so that gave us a couple of hours to explore the above ground buildings. The museum is set in the old processing plant, and the rooms still have the equipment. Fortunately, it's not as noisy at it would have been when it was all working. The mines were known for copper, silver, zinc, and lead, but a lot of other minerals leach out. Displays show the different minerals that can be found in the area. (We gathered that this is because the minerals were deposited through "black smokers" during the Devonian period of earth's history … in any case, they had a film of black smokers and at least one display of mineral deposits in the shape of a small chimney.) Some signs had
English but most were in German only. They also had a lot of displays about the life of the miners, from the 1500s to the modern day (the mines closed down only in the 1980s). Another building – where I would have liked to have spent more time – provided information about mining, trade, and myth. Because we needed to get to our tour, however, we were forced to skip much of the detail.
The tour was awesome – although it was all in German. Pas really wished his mother had taught him German – any German – as the guide talked for 5-10 minutes at each stop, was clearly very funny, and had lots of interesting things to say, as the crowd went, “Ahh,” a few times. But it was still fascinating. We toured the old mines, wearing hard hats and walking through tunnels. The highlights were the three massive water wheels that were used to raise the ore and purge the mine of water. The first water wheel must have been at least three stories high, and the others weren't much smaller. Very impressive.
After the tour, it was nearly 3pm, so we decided to drive to Hamburg. It
was an easy drive again. Garmin couldn't find our hotel, but Maps.me could, so I'm glad we had both. We had a small suite, so I could sleep on the sofa bed. Again, we weren't hungry, so we went to the lounge for a cup of cocoa. I had two phone calls, then I went to bed.
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