This is the largest open pit mine in Western Europe. The drive to get there is beautiful. If you have ever dreamed of what California/Oregon looked like before major settlements took hold, visit this part of the country. The air is crisp and clean. When you first see the mine, you will note that it looks like an Aztec Pyramid. I bought a postcard in the main office that had an ariel view of the site. Be sure to ride the Hauly tour. I believe it may be the only way to see the mine. Be aware that school is still in session in June - even late June - and this is a popular end of the year tour event. Local school children will be taking their field trips there. You will need to wear a yellow rain slicker, hard hat, and I recommend sunglasses. Our tour was a late morning tour and we did need our jackets in June! The Hauly stops to allow for pictures and views. If you do not speak or understand much German, download a podcast or read up on this place ahead of time. The tour is in German. There is a pamphlet in English, but you miss a lot of the anecdotes and extras that the tour guide offers. I was with German speaking friends, so I got to hear the little extras. There is no minimum age limit for the tour. It is bumpy, bouncy, and loud. It is a working mine, so there are trucks padding by blowing up dust etc. There is also a second tour that you can take where you ride in a rail car and go into a closed mine. We didn't take that tour - problems with tight spaces!
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