Wednesday, August 8, 2018

DesTinaTion: Capelton Mines!

Getting Cozy With My Mother In-Law
If you are in and around the Eastern Townships of Quebec and are looking for an escape from the heatwave that we have been experiencing these past few weeks look no further than the Capelton Mines located just minutes outside of Lennoxville. Despite having lived next to the mines for nearly a decade now I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting and enjoyable the overall experience was. They offer English tours (as well as French) which often means smaller groups. The latter in particular I think is key to getting the most out of being inside the cave. Despite it being a rather large mine, most of it is flooded so you will be restricted to the first four levels. There is a small (one room) museum, gift shop and of course they serve up some sandwiches upon request. However, whilst the sandwiches are pretty good, they are also pretty pricey so you are better off packing a lunch imho. Furthermore, if going underground doesn't appeal to you, there is still plenty to see and do around the museum and gift shop. This is a very picture heavy blog so for those of you who don't like to read, you are in luck!

Whilst I am not entirely convinced about the hefty price tag to get into the actual underground mines itself ($30.00 CDN - the same price will get you into Upper Canada Village which is more value for your buck), what made this experience particularly enjoyable is that I was with my two sons and father in law. We were also fortunate in that our tour guide, MC, was very knowledgeable, fun and engaging with my kids. Actually, it turned out to be a private tour given that there were not many English folks around for our tour time slot. The tour was educational and we found ourselves learning a little bit about geology and mining techniques that you wouldn't really know unless you or someone you know was a miner. In many ways it was a trip down memory lane for my father in law who comes from a family who mined in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) once upon a time. We certainly came away finding a renewed sense of appreciation for how lucky we are with our creature comforts compared to the miners of yesteryear.

Adding to the fun of it all was the fact that my boys and I even rode our bicycles down to the mine using the extensive cycling network available here in Quebec (total 25 minute journey from Lennoxville). I felt rather sheepish after all was said and done as I admittedly had very little interest in even visiting the Capelton Mines, let alone going inside of it. I confess that I felt like a petulant child being dragged off to the mines in the morning. When I found out that the tour would last for two hours I was even less inclined to enter. However, all said and done I had a great time and couldn't have been happier with the whole experience. It's the perfect pit stop to refill your tummies and an even better distraction from your cell phones.

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