8 heart-pounding views

8 heart-pounding views

A collection of 'beauty spots' guaranteed to keep you clinging on to each other

1. Linzhou spiral staircase, Taihang Mountains, China

Spiral staircase

The Taihang Mountain range runs 250 miles through Shanxi, Henan and Hebei provinces. Local officials claim that the 300ft spiral staircase was installed on the wall of the Taihang Mountains in Linzhou to give visitors a real experience of the mountain range.

"Here the wind blows and batters them, the birds fly past them, the stairs creak. It is a lot more authentic than an elevator," explained one official.

All potential climbers have to sign a form stating that they have no heart or lung problems and are under 60 years of age.

2. Sears Tower, Chicago, USA

Flickr Vincent Desjardins Sears TowerThe Sears Tower in Chicago is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, towering 110-storeys over the city's streets. Someone decided the 103rd floor needed livening up and attached four glass boxes, jutting out on the side of the building, for visitors to step out into.

The attraction, called The Ledge, has transparent walls and ceilings and is designed to give people a "floating sensation". It is already attracting up to 25,000 visitors a day.

Most admit that the only sensation they feel is one of terror. (image vincent desjardins)

3. Aurland Lookout, Norway

www.saunders.no

Looking like a giant skate ramp built by IKEA, this platform offers astonishing views over the spectacular fjords below...

...And the sensation that if you keep walking you'll fall off the edge.

 

4. Grand Canyon Skywalk, Arizona, USA

Flickr Grand Canyon Skywalk L Richard Martin JnrKnocked up by the local Hualapai Indian tribe, this transparent horseshoe-shaped, cantilever bridge offers the sensation of walking 'over' the Grand Canyon.

The glass floor allows you to looked directly down on the Colorado River, 1,450 metres below. 

Most say it looks much further. (image L.Richard Martin Jnr)

5. Gurvasutti Refuge, Mont Blanc, Italy

Italian refuge

Looking alarmingly like part of a plane fuselage sticking out the side of a mountain, this red and white tube is designed to give refuge to up to 12 climbers at a time.

Set 3,000m above sea level, and hanging over a terrifying drop, it offers unsurpassed views over the spectacular Frébouze Glacier. 

It also boasts an internet connection so climbers can Google how to get back down.

6.Tiamen Skywalk, Zhangjiajie, China

China Foto Press

Not to be outdone by the Americans, the Chinese have built a glass skywalk of their own, hanging it off the side of the Tianmen Mountains in Zhangjiajie.

Situated 4,700ft above sea level, the 200ft long bridge joins the west cliff at the Yunmeng Fairy Summit, the summit of Tianmen Mountain and Zhang Jiajie.

To save paying danger money to cleaners, tourists are asked to put on shoe covers before passing to help keep the path clean.

7. Wooden Skywalk, Shifou Mountains, China

Quirky China News

Not to be outdone by their counterparts in Zhangjiajie , 82 miles away, the good folk of Shifou are offering a more rustic take on the whole skywalk concept.

What is is? a 3ft-wide path made of wooden planks thousands of feet high off the ground. Barely the width of a dinner table, it stretches for 1.8 miles, making it China's longest sightseeing path.

8. Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia

Flickr Dangalama Vic FallsNot content with just looking at the mightiest waterfall in Africa? Why not look over it. And take a quick, cooling dip at the same time?

Devil's Pool is a natural rock pool on the edge of the Victoria Falls, located along the Zambezi River on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. During the dry season, Devil's Pool is shallow enough that people can safely swim right to the edge before the waterfall drops more than 300 feet.

Local guides claim you won't get swept down by the force of the falls because of a natural rock wall just below the surface. Would you be willing to put it to the test? (image dangalama)

This post originally appeared on Wanderlust

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