Monday, July 18, 2011

Cornwall Trip: Day 2 Geevor Tin Mine

Ray and me at Lands End

Today was the first day of exploring all the fun Cornwall has to offer. We started with a tour of a tin mine. The kids got to pan for some gems, which is a favorite family activity. The mine had a lot of fun interactive exhibits for the kids. They even had some things for Misty. We finished the mine quicker than I thought, so we ventured down the coast to Lands End where they used to think the world dropped off the face of the earth. It was so beautiful. We walked quite a ways on the Coastal Trail which goes all along the Cornish coast line. The kids each got souvenirs at the gift shop and we got some Cornish ice cream at the end of our hike. Throughout the week we tried various brands of Cornish ice cream, but the Kelly's Ice Cream we had on our first day out at Lands End was the best. For those of you wondering, Cornish ice cream uses clotted cream. Its been the best ice cream we've found in the UK. We also fell in love with clotted cream, but more on that later.

Once we got back to the resort we bought some wetsuits and boogie boards, since ours are in long term storage, and we hit the beach. Ray and Neil lasted about an hour boogie boarding but the girls stayed on the sand and went back up to our apartment before the boys were done. Despite the cold temperature at the beach we all had fun; however, we never returned to the beach.


We left Sunday to go to a local mine. Followers of this blog may remember how much our family likes to pan for minerals and metals. It was known as the Geevor Tin Mine and it had several shafts open for tourism. The shaft our guide chose was known as Wheal Mexico. Wheal is celtic for “working”, as this was a working mine. It had only been opened by the miners, our guide included, 10 weeks prior. They had mined out all the tin and only just finished setting up the safety precautions necessary for tourists when we arrived. Our guide was one of the last of the miners who had worked on this mine and he showed us the mine and the conditions they worked under. Then he showed us the wood wall which this shaft from where a cave in had happened. The miners were waiting for the company to raise enough money to clear the rock slide area before they began re-working the mine. So Wheal Mexico shaft is still an in progress mine for tin. In the museum, we found out that all the work these miners did was to produce an ingot brick of tin, the same size as a gold block like what used to be kept in Ft Knox. These ingots are only worth about fifty pounds.

After the mine we went to see the town of Land’s End. This is the furthest western point in the UK. We thought it would just be a cool tourist area. Turns out it had the prettiest portion of the Coastal Trail. The coastal trail is a trail that runs around the Cornish coast. It has some views to be envied, so Angie wanted to walk a large part of it as our holiday. We got maybe three miles down this trail before we all got cold and tired, so we turned back. At the beginning/end of the trail was a cute little tourist shop which Neil wanted to buy one of his pencil sharpener collection from. Turns out the shop was better than a tourist trap - it had Cornish Clotted Cream Ice Cream. For those who, like me, have never heard of this amazing concoction let me elucidate for you. Clotted Cream is one of man kinds best inventions... EVER!!! In my studies of history and the reasons why man kills man I have found numerous stupid reasons for war. I am quite surprised this isn’t one of them. Clotted Cream would be a more valuable thing to have at a county fair than your great aunt Rosy’s secret apple pie recipe. For those who don’t take my subtle clues easily, let me just say Cornish Clotted Cream is now one of my all time favorite foods. For the still uninitiated, clotted cream is some sort of mixture of home churned butter and whip cream. It very nicely compliments the taste of any bread based or fruit based food. It makes ice cream into OH MY GOD.... ICE CREAM!!!!!


At Lands End Neil found this rock which he named the Chuck Norris rock. According to Neil this is 
what happens when you mess with Chuck Norris. 

Chuck Norris Rock

No comments:

Post a Comment