Fun Day at the Coal Mine

Trip Start Aug 28, 2000
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

So we got back from Vienna yesterday and I was exhausted. Luckily I was going to get to sleep in... or so I thought. Turns out we actually were supposed to go on an excursion today, so I was dragged out of bed and given 5 minutes to get ready. As you can probably tell I was not very enthusiastic. When I got on the bus I learned we were going to a strip coal mine. That's always fun thing to hear at 8 in the morning. An hour and a half later we arrive at the mine and got more good news! We all got to ride down into the bottom of the mine in a modified dump truck. It had a little room with seats in it on the back where the bed should have been. So we started to go around the mine and we got out at a lookout point. The mine was huge! The worker told us that they had to destroy 5 villages to create the mine. Then the fun really started because this big tuck started to go down this steep dirt road to get to the bottom of the mine. On one side there is at 15 foot drop off and on the other there is, oh look, another drop off. And did I forget to mention that it was raining!!! The back end of the truck kept sliding sideways so that the truck was perpendicular to the road. We also just kind of slid down the last 20 feet of the road, so that was interesting. We only got stuck once before we made it to the bottom, drove under some equipment, and got out. Got to see the machine mine some coal. It was a big wheel with buckets on it. The buckets had teeth and when the wheel would spin the buckets scooped up coal and dropped it on a belt that took it out of the mine. I thought things were looking up until we got into the truck to leave. The driver started to back the truck between the machine and the wheel but the wheel was still spinning! I was very glad that that was the end of the tour. Had lunch at an old hunting ground that had been turned into a restaurant. Beethoven was even rumored to have hung out there. I was more impressed with the fact that there was a small zoo around the restaurant. They had ponies, a pig, deer, an emu, a baby goat, and a falcon.  Ended our day at the kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie (or the Church of the Assumtion of the Vigin Mary). The church was built in the 1500's but was moved in the 1970s' from its original location as it as sitting on a coal deposit. It took 5 years for them to dismantel the inside, strengthen it, and built the track to move it. They only oved it 2200 ft but it took 28 days because it only move 2 cm/min.  So it wasn't exactly a relaxing day but all in all I was pretty glad I had been dragged out of bed. So until next time...     
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