Wealth Of A Nation.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Where I stayed
The old jail hostel
What I did
Falun copper mine tour.

Flag of Sweden  , Swedish Lakeland,
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hiring a car in a foreign country all goes quite smoothly in the paperwork stage and then suddenly we are given keys (and thankfully the GPS!) and let loose in the CENTRE of big cities.

Our very flash Volvo was about the last car available in Stockholm as it is a huge public holiday here in Sweden (Mid Summer) when everyone goes away. The car seemed so bi,g jammed in its tiny underground parking spot, but we put the GPS on the dash and eased our way out of the parking garage and onto the street, in the pouring rain.The GPS found the signal..... and spoke Swedish! We had specifically asked for it to be in English, we had to find somewhere to pull over and sort this out first. That done, howeve,r now somehow, I had changed something else and it was simulating the journey and giving us instructions that were not correct. Finally after a bit of stress, and being on the receiving end of some horn blowing, we got it sorted and we were on our way!

Our first stop was the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Engelsberg Iron Works. In pouring rain we had a look at the sight as best we could, but it was not offically open to the public until the weekend. During the 18th & 19th century steel was an important industry for Sweden and the buildings and machinery are still intact.

Then onto the city of Falun to again a UNESCO site, but also to see our friend Frida. We met Frida and her travelling friend Mia on our Trans Siberian trip and were looking forward to catching up. Mia was in Norway, but Frida was available and she immediately got us sorted with a room at the old gaol backpackers and had information ready for us, that we could do a 7.30pm tour of the Falun mine. We caught up with each others news over coffee, settled into our backpackers then headed off for the 7.30pm tour. 

The Falun copper and iron mining area is amazing. It is said to be responsible for the birth of the Swedish nation. We learnt that a lot of the copper we have seen adorning buildings all around the world, but particularly in the churches of Europe, came from this mine in Sweden. Our tour took us underground and gave some insight into the hardships of mining in the 17th and 18th centuries.

After the tour we met up with Frida again, bought a pizza, and headed back to the backpackers where we consumed much red wine with our pizza and had lots of laughs and good conversation. Suddenly it was 2.00am! Thanks for a great night Frida.

Footnote: Englesberg Ironworks and Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun are UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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