Idar-Oberstein – the gemstone mine

My husband has wanted to take the kids to this mine since we arrived in Germany. His reason: he went there on a 4th-grade field trip. He lived in Germany as a kid, too, and this place was one of his most vivid memories.

We got a little lost on the way there (FYI, the address on the website is NOT correct). Finally, we made it, and started the hike to the entrance to the mine.

We found a bunch of really cool slugs on the path.
We found a bunch of really cool slugs on the path.
Bunches had to pee on the hike, so we took her behind one of these rocks to go. She didn't quite get the concept of squatting, and ended up making a mess...
Bunches had to pee on the hike, so we took her behind one of these rocks to go. She didn’t quite get the concept of squatting, and ended up making a mess…
...so the hubs trekked back to the van to grab the spare pair of pants, and we all hid behind the rocks. He got a good 20 yards past us before he turned around, wondering where we all went. It was great fun!
…so the hubs trekked back to the van to grab the spare pair of pants, and we all hid behind the rocks. He got a good 20 yards past us before he turned around, wondering where we all went. It was great fun!
One of the old mine entrances.
One of the old mine entrances.
Another closed entrance
Another closed entrance
Hardhats, check. Audio tours, check. We're ready to go in!
Hardhats, check. Audio tours, check. We’re ready to go in!
Some of the gemstones were lighted to see them better.
Some of the gemstones were lighted to see them better.
Inside the mine.
Inside the mine.
Mine tunnels.
Mine tunnels.
There was a beautiful underground lake. My camera was not doing it justice!
There was a beautiful underground lake. My camera was not doing it justice!
Pretty gemstones.
Pretty gemstones.
I saw the hugest snail I've ever seen! I thought it was fake at first.
I saw the hugest snail I’ve ever seen! I thought it was fake at first.
A giant lighted quartz crystal.
A giant lighted quartz crystal.

It was very pretty and neat to see. I’d definitely recommend it as a day trip!

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