Saturday, June 8, 2013


Stairways that will amaze!

The floating Inca trail in Peru would finish me RIGHT off....

For many, stairs are something to avoid, unless you're determined to lose some weight.
But lovers of nature and spectacular views are more than used to climbing steps and yet
more steps to gain the view, though this list of steps may be a challenge for those who get a little dizzy.


Where you are: Pailon del Diablo , Ecuador
Where are they going? Designed to descend to the bottom of one
of the most famous waterfalls in South America ,  lost in the fog
along the way in many cases. It is extremely slippery and steep
for several tens of metres to a lookout where you can see the
dramatic effect, accompanied by hummingbirds,gulls and other local birds.


The Step-well of Chand Baori near Jaipur, Rajastan
Where are you? India
Where are they going? These steps lead down to a huge pool, built in the tenth century to
overcome the lack of rainfall in the region and store water for long periods. The structure has
a total of 3,500 steps, down to a depth of 30 metres --- then up again with the water.

Stairs Elbe Sandstone Mountains
Where you are: Dresden , Germany
Where are they going? Stairs carved into the stone of the mountain itself . They
date from the 13th century and have been eroded by wind and water, but are still
being used daily by tourists.  487steps, though not enough, were restored and
expanded in the eighteenth century to facilitate transit.

The Rock of Guatape
Where you are: Antioquia , Colombia
Where are they going? The rock is a stone monolith 220 metres high. The steps are
constructed with cement, directly on the rock, making use of a natural cleavage.
702 steps must be climbed to reach the peak.


The Ladder Haiku
Where you are: Oahu , Hawaii
Material: metal
Where are they going? On the small island of Oahu there is this tremendous journey
of 3922 steps,climbing, across and down a hill of 850 metres. They were created to
facilitate the installation of a satellite in 1942.  Originally of  wood, they were
modernized in the '50s, but since 1987 have been closed to the public.


The Inca Trail
Where you are: Peru
Where are they going?  An ancient trade route linking the city of Cuzco to
Machu Pichu.   The rugged topography of the area forced the Inca Trail to make
detours around hills and between mountains. The result: miles and miles of stairs,
in some cases very precarious, as the famous floating staircases.
Standing there and not holding on to something obviously it wasn't a windy day? !!!!


Ladder Via Crucis
Where you are: Bermeo, Basque Country, Spain
Where are they going? This endless row of stairs is attached to the rocky coast where
there is a small church dating from the tenth century and seemingly of Templar origin.
To reach the hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, one has to climb 231 steps and
there are gaps in the steps that are identified as the footsteps of St. John himself,
which are given different healing powers.   For example, you have to put your feet in
them as a cure for corns, or leave hats, scarves or chapelas, to cure the headache.


Spiral Staircase in the Taihang Mountains
Where you are: At the boundary between the provinces of Shanxi and Henan , China .
Where are they going? This spiral staircase of almost 100 metres was installed recently in
an attempt to attract tourists to the beautiful Taihang Mountains .
Before undertaking the ascent, visitors are asked to sign forms to ensure they do not have
heart or lung problems, and are under age 60.  And a slip on the narrow metal ladder can
certainly lead to heaven, as in the Led Zeppelin song.


Wayna Pichu
Where you are: Machu Picchu , Peru
Where are they going? Stairs carved into the rock that crowns a climb of about 360 metres
from MachuPicchu itself.   In some parts, the ascent is complicated to pass through narrow
sections, with small step and eroded steps. Climbing time is calculated to be between one
hour and 90 minutes: 90 minutes climbing stairs! Only 400 tourists a day are allowed, and access is closed from 1pm, just in case.

(Thanks to Dan Bowyer for passing these amazing photos on.)

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