But do you ever go visit a steel factory?
That's where we took our guests today! This is Vitkovice, a manufacturer of pig iron in Ostrava for 170 continuous years.
Closed since 1998, this plant has now been turned into a European Cultural Heritage site that is just so cool! If you come to see us, for sure we're taking you there!
Wearing your hard hat, (which is required!) the guided walking tour lasts nearly two hours as you're taken through the old coking plant and up the blast furnace.
You may not fully be able to appreciate the size from the pictures, but this place is HUGE!
Though I can't remember what this structure's purpose was during the years of production, I DO remember that they called it the "Elephant". It kind of resembles one doesn't it?!
Because it was the first day on the job for the tour guide, a second one accompanied our group, which turned out to be a blessing for us. The main tour was in Czech, but the supervising guide spoke English and ended up doing a separate tour for us while the rest of the group continued on in Czech.
We rode the shaft lift up the furnace to the mid-point with the whole group, and then proceeded on with just the six of us and our guide.
While it was overcast today, the views were nonetheless spectacular as we began our walk up, by stairs, to the top.
Yes, I was feeling a tiny bit dizzy as I looked way down there to the highway, but it was still awesome to be up there!
Today was our first time to take the tour, but it will definitely not be the last. There is still so much more to see and learn about this cultural monument that is practically in our backyard!
Glad we got to share the first visit there with these dear friends!