Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Big Pit

We had a lot of fun during our recent visit to the UK, and one of the highlights was our visit to Wales' "Big Pit" museum. The museum is part of the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, a World Heritage site.

If you're ever anywhere near Southern Wales, I recommend visiting this place. The highlight is where they take you underground into a "disused" coal mine. Your guide will be a real Welsh coal miner. (When someone referred to him as "retired", he explained that since the museum only runs 10 months a year, he works in a mine the other 2 months. And then went off on a rant against the Welsh Assembly.) It was really quite an experience bumping our heads through the mine and seeing how mining used to be done in the heydey of British coal.

The excitement of our visit was when a woman in our tour group started to feel faint. She had to be taken back to the surface then, but the ground station took a while to respond. In the mean time, a 6-year-old boy started to panic -- we had just heard about all of the gases that can kill you in a mine. The guide did a great job of cheering the boy up -- he was still nervous the rest of the trip, but he made it.

Sorry, no pictures of the mine. We had to give up our cameras, watches, cell phones, or anything else with a dry cell battery.

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