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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.


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.



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.



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.



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?






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9781553415954Gibraltar has been much in the news lately, but how much do most of us know about this tiny British Overseas Territory, especially if you have never been there.   For example I was fascinated and somewhat horrified to discover that the main road running north-south, and linking Gibraltar with the mainland is crossed by the runway for the airport, with the result that traffic has to wait for planes to land or take off! I don’t fancy running the risk of jumping those lights!gibralter

Then there are those Barbary macaques, which were part of Gibraltar life long before the Rock became a British Overseas Territory.  the macaques are so used to the tourists, that they will climb onto them, although it is no longer permitted to feed them, because of the problems that this would cause.   Until the early 1990’s the macaques were in the care of the British Army and many were named after high-ranking officers.  There is a popular legend that as long as the macaques remain on Gibraltar, then it will remain under British rule.  I guess it might be worth watching what happens to this colony then!

The Government of Gibraltar issues its own version of British banknotes and coins with their own designs, which are accepted alongside British currency and often the Euro.  Must make a fascinating collection, as some coins even have Christmas designs.p737




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Barcelona 2

FruitAtMarketHall-copy-200x300Another of our favourite destinations in Barcelona was the Market Hall, Mercat de La Boqueria, on the Rambla de Sant Josep, given half a chance K would have shopped there everyday, but as we were staying in a hotel, we did not need too!  Best time to visit is early in the day, before the hall gets to busy, then continue along the Las Ramblas, stopping to pause at the many and varied sights and stalls.  Great for people watching too, if you stop at one of the street cafes, but watch out for pick pockets, we witnessed at first hand just how quickly a camera sat down on the table for a moment can go missing.

Where ever you go in Barcelona, a map is always helpful.


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When I go on holiday abroad, I am not one for sunbathing on the beaches, and instead I prefer city breaks.  K and I went to Barcelona a few years ago and I absolutely fell in love with the Gaudi architecture, especially La Sagrada Familia.  I could have spent several days just absorbing all the details in the stonework.  While we were there the inside was still full of cranes and workmen, but it was still an impressive and beautiful space.  I have enjoyed following the progress of this stunning building as the workmen seek to complete it by the one hundredth anniversary of Antonio Gaudi’s death.  If you find yourself in Barcelona this year, this is a ‘must see’ sight, and I would love to see photos of the current stage of work on this building.