mapsworldwide blog

We are an online specialist map retailer based in the United Kingdom, supplying maps, travel guides & nautical charts worldwide.


Leave a comment

AWESOME SETS of STAIRS!


32RMIrC

Robson Square · Vancouver, British Columbia

With disabled people in mind this architect designed the most awesome stairs with full wheelchair access!  It is the perfect set up and most likely the future of staircases.

 

Many of you may have seen these images elsewhere, but they were recently forwarded to me, and I thought I would share them with you!

For anyone, unless you are very fit, many of these sets of stairs will take your breath away, or, at least make you puff just thinking about climbing and descending any of this lot of steps!  For myself, I might be able to go up, but there is no way I would want to walk down many of these stairs, I like the comfort of a solid handrail if not more between me and the drop below!

Peldaños del Cañón

 Peldaños del Cañón

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 in many cases, it is extremely slippery and steep for several tens of meters to a lookout point where you can see a dramatic effect, accompanied by hummingbirds, gulls and other local birds.

 

Chand Baori

Chand Baori

Where you are: India

Where are they going? The decline of these steps leads 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, that go down to a depth of 30 meters. It is then filled with water.

 

Elbe Sandstone Mountains

Stairs Elbe Sandstone Mountains

Where you are: Dresden , Germany

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

Guatape

The Rock of Guatapé

Where you are: Antioquia , Colombia

Where are they going?  The rock is an authentic stone monolith of 220 meters. The steps are constructed with cement, directly on the rock and making a curious place that facilitated clear age structure.  Some 702 steps are to be followed to reach its peak.

 

Haiku

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 meters. They were created to facilitate the installation of a satellite in 1942. In principle wood, were modernized in the ’50s, but since 1987 are closed to the public.

 

inca

The Inca Trail

Where you are: Peru

Where are they going? An ancient trade route linking the city of Cuzco to Machu Pichu. For the rugged geography of the area, the Inca Trail and forced detours around to evolve between hills and mountains. The result: miles and miles of stairs, in some cases very precarious, as the famous floating staircases.

 

via Crucis

Ladder Via Crucis

Where you are: Bermeo, Basque Country, Spain Where are they going? This endless row of stairs attached to the rock coast where a small church dating from the tenth century and seems to be of Templar.  To reach the hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe have to climb 231 steps and there are gaps in the steps that are identified as the footsteps of St. John himself, who are given different healing powers. For example, you have to put your feet in them as a solution for corns or left hats, scarves, or to cure a headache.

 

Taihang

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 meters have been installed recently in an attempt to attract thousands of tourists each year to the beautiful Taihang Mountains . Before undertaking the ascent asks visitors to sign forms to ensure they do not have heart problems or lungs, and are under age 60. And is that a slip in a narrow metal ladder as you certainly can lead to heaven, as the song of Led Zeppelin.

 

Wayna Pichu

Wayna Pichu

Where you are: Machu Picchu, Peru

Where are they going? Stairs carved into the rock that crown a climb of about 360 meters from MachuPicchu itself.  In some sections, the ascent is complicated to pass through narrow sections and small steps and eroded. The rise time is calculated from one hour and 90 minutes.  90 minutes climbing stairs!  Only allowed promotion to 400 tourists a day and access closes from 1pm.  Just in case!

If you have climbed any of these staircases, please let us know?

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Street furniture


streetwareViewing some of the other blogs I have seen in recent weeks, made me look a little more carefully at some of the details around the streets in Berlin recently, which was how I came to take some of these photos.

streetlampUnfortunately, the weather was not too good during most of our trip, hence the grey skies!

streetpostboxHowever we did find some brighter images!

streetpost


Leave a comment

Welcome to ‘erlin!


BerlinbearAs anyone who has read this blog before will know, I love street art, especially the decorated animal statures that have frequented our cities in recent years.  So when heading to Berlin I was looking forward to finding the various Buddy Bears that currently live in the city.  So I was delighted to find “Welcome to ‘erlin” (someone had rubbed the B away) shortly after my arrival in the city not far from the Brandenburg Gate.

However many of the other Buddy Bears proved to be elusive, or maybe just plain ‘shy’.  I did finally spot one near our hotel on Potsdamer Strasse but it was hiding behind some hoarding for some building work, and was only visible from the top deck of a double decker bus!

RitterBuddyI did enjoy this colourful bear situated by the entrance to the cafe in the Ritter Sport shop.  However to really indulge my desire to enjoy these bears I ended up studying the displays of models in KaDeWe and some souvenir shops!

Buddybears


Leave a comment

Berlin Holocaust Memorial


Holocaust (2)Well, we finally made it to Berlin last week, and had a fascinating if exhausting time exploring the city, mostly on foot, although we did use some buses and the subway when we were too tired to walk any further!

holocaust1We started our trip at the Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, near to the Brandenburg Gate.  This Memorial was built on land that use to form part of the ‘No mans area’ of the Berlin Wall.

Holocaust4Walking amongst the vast field of stellae deliberately built on uneven ground and of varying heights, it an un-nerving and thought provoking experience and despite the straight lines and clear view of a way out at any point,  I found that I quickly lost sight of K even though he was not far away.

Holocaust5Beneath the field of stellae is the Information Centre, where you need to allow ample time to explore all the documents and information on show.  Particularly moving was the Room of Dimensions where in backlit panels on the floor that reflect the stellae above, extracts of letters, diaries and last notes written by many who knew they were about to die were displayed.


Leave a comment

Guten Tag, Bonjour, Buen Día, Buongiorno!


9781780042725I am conscious that once again I am about to travel to another country, this time Germany, with little or no knowledge of the local language beyond ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ and ‘Do you speak English?’

What is it about the British that arrogantly assumes that we can always speak to others and be understood by them in our own language, and expect them to respond to us in English as well?  It amazes me as I have travelled around Europe (to date I have only left Europe briefly, and that was to the USA), that everywhere I go; most people speak or at least understand English.  It makes us British lazy, in that we do not attempt to learn other languages, (and I include myself in this), and it embarrasses me when I deal with our European customers that I do not have the knowledge, or even if I do, the confidence to speak to them in their own language, even when they are struggling to communicate with me in English.

For now, I apologise in advance to all the German people I will meet in Berlin in a couple of weeks for my lack of knowledge of the German language, and I will try to do better, before I go abroad again!