Sunday, November 3, 2013

Miss My Loves Lohja: Halloween Tour around Tytyri Mine Museum

Today Miss Mo and I went on a fun Halloween themed tour around the Tytyri Mine Museum in Lohja. The tour is a well-known tourist attraction and we were told there are lots of Australian, Canadian and American visitors during the summer months.

We donned helmets which made us feel like, well, builders and I almost felt like I should wear pants which expose half of my bottom and wolf whistle at ladies.

We had to wait outside for a minibus to take us deep into the bowels of the earth. The ride took less than 5 minutes and when we exited the bus, I was surprised by how cold and humid it was down there. Perhaps it shouldn't have surprised me as the minibus took us 100 meters underground. From feeling like a builder I went to feeling like an extra in one of the Lord of the Rings films.

The tour started with our tour guide explaining how vast the mining area actually is. A network of tunnels totalling a length of 60 (!) kilometres crosses under Lohja Lake and partially under the city. The mine is still working and at present some twenty men mine limestone at the depth of 350 meters.

She then proceeded with telling us very interesting facts such as modern mining in Lohja began in 1897 when the industrial exploitation of limestone was started. She also told us that accidents in the mine happen but only 5 lives have been claimed so far. This is due to the fact that highly explosive gasses are not naturally found in limestone mines. To be perfectly honest, I was a bit relieved after hearing that fact! As most people know, mines are male dominated. A law allowing women to work in mines was passed in the late 1990s. Apparently, feminists weren't so active in the mines!

When a vertical shaft was sunk to the predetermined depth, the completion was celebrated by tarring the bottom. According to old tales, this kept the mine goblins from their evil deeds.


Evil mine goblins?

At the end of the tour the guide led us to the comfortably heated Tytyri Hall where we enjoyed a hearty lunch. Interesting fact: Tytyri Hall can be booked for meetings, family celebrations, birthday parties and weddings. Perfect for people who want something different!

The people from Tytyri Mine Museum had made an effort to make the mine look nice and scary for Halloween. Poor Sabine von Schlotterstein was buried in the cold mine. Perhaps she was one of the 5 lives that was claimed? Some of the participants in the tour had dressed up to celebrate Halloween. One little guy was dressed as Batman and didn't mind posing for us with a very convincing Batman facial expression.

Poor Sabine von Schlotterstein.

Very convincing Batman.

After lunch we left Tytyri  and were asked by a guide whether we would like to go back up by minibus or by foot via rather primitive stairs. Well, of course we decided to take the stairs as we are young and in good shape. Or so we thought. Half way up Miss Mo started complaining and told me her legs hurt from Bodypump the day before. I showed some Finnish perseverance (Finns call it sisu) and just kept on walking as I was really keen on getting to the top. Once we were up and outside I couldn't help breathing a sigh of relief. A mine-woman I am most definitely not. That said, we had a great time and I understand that it is a very popular destination for both tourists and local people. It is different and fun and I would recommend it to everyone!

*This post is in cooperation with Lohja City*

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