After a restful night in Røros, we all woke up to a great continental breakfast provided by the hotel. After getting our fill for the morning, we packed up and loaded the bus for our excursion to the The Olav's Mine, a copper ore mine just a few miles outside of town.
At the mine, we met our tour guide, who happened to be a native of Alexandria, MN, that had moved to Norway back in the 1980's. After learning about a brief history of the mine and how it began, we made our way to get fitted with hard hats and do a little exploring of the mine. Let me say, we would definitely make one good looking construction crew!
The mine itself is more or less split into two parts, and old and a new mine. The old mine was in production from 1650-1717 and again from 1861-1890, so it was very interesting to learn about and see how that mining was done before they had the modern technology available to them. The newer part was opened up in 1936 after a new pocket of ore was discovered. This mine shut down production in 1977, but much of the equipment that was used in this time period had been left in the mine, and today, it can still be seen in the places it was left over 40 years ago. When all was said in done, we had trekked about 500 meters into the side of the mountain and were about about 50 meters down. (I will leave it up to you to do the conversions)
After our tour of the mine, we traveled back into the town of Røros for a tour of the copper smelting museum that was built in the place of the old Røros Smeltery. This was a very interesting museum filled with scaled models of the the whole mining and smelting process, from how the ore was taken out of the ground to how it was made into the raw material that was used in Norway and exported to other parts of Europe. There were even remnants of the original plant that was forced to close down after a fire destroyed parts of the smelting equipment.
After that tour, we ate a nice lunch at a small cafe in town and then headed on the bus again for our 3 1/2 hour drive back to Steinkjer. Many used this opportunity to take a much needed nap, so needless to say the bus ride was very quiet. We arrived at our apartments around 8:00, ordered some pizza, and relaxed for the rest of the night. All in all, it was another great day in Norway.