**This post was originally written on my old blog and I copied it over here/made edits**
Blue John Mines
Blue john is a rare, precious gem; it is a blue yellow color (it gets its name from how the English heard the words “blue” and “yellow” in French). In the United Kingdom, it is only found in the Blue John Cavern (where I visited) and one other location. The caves are located in Derbyshire and were G
ORGEOUS! Everything was entirely natural and excavated by glaciers and rivers (with the exception of the stairs/handrails). It was cold (I had to wear my gloves) and wet.
We paid for a tour, which lasted around 30 minutes. The cavern was about
a mile deep at the lowest point and had fresh water running through it. It was really interesting to see the blue john in the walls, as I had never been close to precious gems before (outside of the jewelry counter!). There is not a lot of light down there, so the photos turned out horribly. It was definitely worth the trip, but be aware that there are a LOT of stairs.
Next on our day trip was Chatsworth House. Chatsworth House is where the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire live. Apparently, years ago, the family lost the house when one of the family members passed away. They had to give the government their paintings and statues, as well as their home. However, the current Duke and Duchess pay “market price” rent to live in Chatsworth House, which I thought was pretty cool! Apparently, the Duke and Duchess also come and socialize with tourists periodically, but I didn’t have a chance to see them!
A friend and I opted for a self-guided tour of the Chatsworth house, which
began in the entry way, under a magnificent ceiling painting. All of the rooms were extravagantly decorated and pretty amazing to see.
One complaint about the self-guided tour was that there were a few instances where there weren’t enough guide materials available in the rooms. This happened when there was a large amount of people in one room and the guidebooks were all being used. For the most part, we were able to figure out what the room was for, but there were times when we probably missed out a bit on the history of the room.
On this week in history
Outside of the house are some of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. There were multiple gardens across the land and they were all incredibly well kept.
One of the pieces of the Chatsworth House gardens that is world-renowned is the fountain in the garden. This fountain, when water is running through it in the summer, is said to produce a sort of “music” as the water runs down the different layers. Each layer has a different sound and it was really beautiful.
These two locations were by far some of my favorite places in the Manchester area. The gardens of the Chatsworth House were giant and beautiful. I’d love to return and spend just a little more time there!