Mindat Conference 2011 - Field TripsLast Updated: 21st Jul 2011
By Jolyon Ralph
Mindat Conference 2011 - The Field Trips
Photos for this report were provided by Ida Chau, Miranda Yu, Slawomir Szlinke, Reiner Bode, Roger Lang as well as myself - Thank you all! As there are so many photos I will keep the descriptions short and let the photos do the talking. Part 2 (The conference and workshops) will come in the next 2 days! Lots more photos need to be sorted through.
The first three days of the Mindat Conference were field trips, with attendees divided up into different groups to attend different trips on different days.
On Monday, three small groups (no more than 10 in each) went to three massive underground copper mines in and around the Lubin area. The trips started early - the coach left at 3.30am from Lwowek Slaski.
Meanwhile, another party was in the Pokovitza mine, which was working higher up in the halite zone.
All three Lubin area groups then returned to Lwowek Slaski for lunch at the restaurant.
On monday evening we had our first 'official' party, an 'icebreaking' party in the old town hall. The Mayor of Lwowek Slaski greets us all and opens the event.
Also at the party, we had a preview of the town's quartz exhibition, part of the Crystal Days festival, and worked on for a long time by many people, but mindat.org regular and quartz expert Amir Akhavan worked particularly hard for it.
Chris Stanley and Mike Rumsey from Natural History Museum (London) enjoying a beer in the Quartz exhibition
The next day, three more trips.
Another group was over in the agate fields.
And, the owner of the field at one of the localities even made some cakes for everyone. How's that for hospitality!
And, for those who didn't find good enough agates, local collectors had plenty of low-priced agates to sell.
At the end of the first day, we go to an outdoor 'field party' near Lwowek Slaski.
Great food was provided, but for the kids (and more adventurous), you could take a sausage and cook it yourself over the camp fire.
A very surreal (for those who didn't understand what it was all about) ceremony was played out by the locals - essentially it was a re-enactment of the mining fraternity initiation ceremonies.
Vegetarians - look away now.
The next day, more collecting. This time we look at the trip to Szklary for the chrysoprase.
Wednesday evening is the official opening of the Conference.
The Mayor of the town returns and we thank on stage everyone involved in putting the conference together.
And bread and fat! Polish specialty, and quite essential if you want to line your stomach to survive the vodka.
And finally, we announced the location of our second mindat conference.
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