Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006 News

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 New finds at Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006


Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

Welcome to Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, the town where even the cats are relaxed.
But watch out – every year during the last week of June
it ‘erupts’ (mineralogically speaking).

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

Ste. Marie is a really charming town in the heart of the Val d'Argent valley, within the French Alsace. It is working hard to recover its previous glory, for example with the Mining and Textile Museum, which is in the centre of the village and is well worth a visit if you want to understand better the mining history of the region.

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

Not only is Sainte-Marie beautiful, but the surrounding area is also worth visiting. This year, on the day before the show, we visited Châtenois, a charming village with a medieval past that we really liked, with its streets full of history, and its Tour des Sorcières where the storks nest.

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

Let’s move on to the show! This year was quite different, as the tents have vanished and have been replaced by two large, closed, modern and functional halls, where the majority of the dealers who used to be in the tents have moved. There were also lots of new dealers, so the show has become one of the largest in the world, with over 900 dealers.
In the photos you can see the street that accesses the halls, where there are some more tables for open air sales.
The other photos show the two new halls, empty before the start of their first ever show. The last one shows one of them with the show in full swing, full of dealers and visitors.

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

The Theatre is The Location where the dealers with the best specimens gather, and it has also been remodeled (and will continue to be so). This year the Theatre was full of dealers with their stands touching each other, but in 2007 just a part of them (and that includes us) we will have own separate stands with more space between us, so it will be more comfortable for us as well as the visitors.
On one hand we will lose some of the special atmosphere but, given the stature the show has achieved, I think that the change will be for the better.
In the first photo you can see our stand looking much as it always has. In front of it is Joan Rosell, the enthusiastic editor of the new magazine Mineral Up, who is looking at a pink Variscite that, after a short while, became (for a short period?) the new love of his life.
In the right hand photo you can see me being interviewed by one of the main radio station in Alsace, Radio Dreyeckland. Good luck to the listeners to the station, I hope they understood something of what I said!
In the other photos you can see the new look of the Theatre, already remodeled, and in the right hand one an old photo of the theatre with its current layout, which we will never see again…

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

The first photo is of the well known German collector Paul Stahl, with a heavy load of what must be marvelous specimens. Julia, behind him, seems to be smiling and wondering “where are you going with all that”.
This year the organizers had put on a small train that linked the different areas of the show. A wise decision as the distances are now quite long. People enthusiastically used this free train.
The last two photos show some details of the quality of the old Theatre building. We hope that after all the remodeling these are kept.

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006

The weather during Ste Marie can be extreme, either it is far too hot, or it is quite cool, or there are major thunder storms. This year we were lucky, as the major wind and rain storm that affected us all, even cutting off all power supplies, occurred after the show had ended and after most of the material had been packed up. So the damage was minimal. It really was a violent major storm, as you can guess from the two photos that we took.

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006
A smiling tree bids us farewell

A la prochaine!
 New finds at Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2006


 
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