Top 5 places we'd love to put a stairlift
17th June 2014
Steps have been the answer to accessing some of the world’s highest points and most spectacular views for nearly as long as such places have been in existence themselves. While most of the world is catching up in making public landmarks and spaces accessible to the mobility restricted, there are some yet to receive the stairlift treatment.
Here are some of the top places we’d love to see a stairlift, where some are more believable than others.
Tiger & Turtle – Magic Mountain, Duisburg, Germany
This incredible structure is more a work of art than a structure created for function. Designed and created by artist duo Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth, together they created a staircase modelled on that of a rollercoaster and is situated at the Heinrich-Hildebrand-Height in Anger Park. The remarkable steps offer incredible views of the Rhine River, but all is not what it seems as its practically goes out the window when visitors get to the middle loop-section.
This is where a stairlift really would come into play where, with suitable harnesses and straps, it could overcome this particular flaw and make the design the world’s first stairlift rollercoaster.
Heaven’s Gate Mountain, Zhangjiajie City, China
From the most contemporary of design to the most historic of manmade wonders, next is the Heaven’s Gate Mountain, or Tianmen Shan. While the first half of the journey to this incredible natural cave arch is accessible by an equally impressive skytram that measures 7.5km in length, the journey up to the top of the steps is only possible by climbing every 999 of them.
As well as being the site of one of the area’s most impressive views, by installing a stairlift visitors would get a better chance of seeing some of the incredible acrobatic plane displays that pass through the arch on occasion, without having to pause their climb.
Traversinersteg, near Thusis, Switzerland
Making rainforest canopy rope bridges look like a thing of the past is the design from Swiss bridge engineer J
Gastelugache island, Spain
Proving that something old can be as spectacular as something new is the steps that laden the Gastelugache island of Spain. Totalling 237 steps up to the summit of the mountain hilltop on the island where the old hermit’s hut lies, this coastal staircase dates back to the tenth century. The hermitage is dedicated to John the Baptist and the whole pathway is open to the public.
Spiral staircase, Taihang Mountains, Linchzhou, China
Finally, we have one of the most unbelievable set of stairs on the list, in the form of the spiral staircase in the Taihang mountains. This 300-foot high set of steps situated on the mountain face offers amazing views from the top – the likes of which are not seen by non-mountaineers very often.
The steps are said to offer the same thrills as mountaineering without the danger yet, that being said, climbers have to be under 60 years of age and must fill out a health form before attempting the climb, an issue that the installation of a curved stairlift would surely fix.
While it is unlikely that these spectacular locations will gain stairlift access anytime soon, there are still plenty of beautiful views to be had from the world’s more accessible locations.
This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.
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