We’ve all seen Tom and Jerry walk past cliffs, moving forward until they submit to gravity by looking down. Many of us too wish we could do the same, but the idea of landing in a hospital makes us recede. High Mountain peaks, roaring waterfalls, deep mystic forests, etc. have impelled man to use his engineerical feats combined with his love for nature to go ahead and create spectacular observatory platforms perched on mountain peaks and thundering waterfalls to bring us one step closer to Mother Nature. Explore the following before planning your next adventure trip.
1. Grand Canyon Sky Wall
David Jin is an avid tourism entrepreneur who wanted visitors from around the world to get an eagle’s view from the high rising edges of the Grand Canyon. To make this dream come true he invited architect Mark Ross Johnson to design the horseshoe shape cantilever bridge that would extend 70 feet into the canyon and will be mounted at a height of 4000 feet. This natural wonder in Arizona, near Colorado River will have a 2.5 inches thick crystal clear glass panel as the floor and will allow you to sneak through the canyon while you walk. The weight of the bridge is 1.2 million pounds and it can accommodate 120 people at a time. To give it extra sturdiness, steals beams of a million pounds with dampeners are used. This will allow it to withstand an earthquake of an 8.0 magnitude and also minimize the vibrations.
2. Dachstein Ice Palace, Austria
The Dahstein Ice Palace in Ramsau am Dachstein will transport you into a wonder world of light and ice. You will sail with the clouds at 2700 feet above the sea level. The most inviting thing about the Palace is that you can visit it throughout the year, in any weather. Once there you will pass through “throne room”, the “crystal cathedral” and the “blue parlor”, which will allow you to observe many glacial niches. You will get a 360 degree view of the Republic Koruna Slovenia from the north to the south. Weighing 40 tons it will accommodate 150 people in one go who will be pulled in a mystical world of ice.
3. Top of Tyrol
Deriving its inspiration from the Grand Canyon Sky Walk, Top of Tyrol has been perched at a height of 3,210 meters on the Stubai Glacier. This deck is in the shape of a mountain ridge and almost naturally merges into the surroundings. 109 mountain peaks can be viewed from this mountain viewing platform, including the Stubai Alps, the Dolomites and the Ortler Massif. The platform has a nine meter extension beyond the ridge, overhanging at the edge, so you can chose between being a passive observer secure in the seating area or an active participant by going to the tip of the platform to look beyond the depths of the valley below.
4. Il Binocolo
Standing out from the lush mountains in the castle garden Trauttmansdorff, Italy, the Binocolo is a rugged mountain platform, cast from iron. It is designed by Matteo Thun and looks like a small roof extending from an unknown hidden house in the deep green. The meaning of Binocolo is a binocular and it literally refers to the view from the platform roof.
5. Aurland Lookout
The Aurland Lookout in Norway is a true representation of the Scandinavian designs. The Norwegian Highways Department hired architects Tommie Wilhelmsen and Todd Saunders to construct and design a mountain platform for promoting tourism but without causing any harm to the environment. Not only did the designers not encroach upon nature, they also gave the bridge a unique design, where your walk will end by sliding out into the air without falling. This means that on reaching the edge of the platform you feel like you might slide off into the woods down below, but there is a sheet of plate glass that will keep you safe.
6. Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk
The Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk is the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere. For constructing this marvel of a structure, 2000 tons of reinforcing steel, 15,000 cubic meters of concrete and almost 600 tons of structural steel was used. It is strong enough to handle winds with 200km/hr and an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale. 225 observers can be taken to the top every 15 minutes in glass elevators. There is option of climbing steps too, but think of doing so only if you are willing to tread up 1276 steps.
7. 5 Fingers Viewing Platform
The Five Fingers viewing platform in Austria has five differentiated wings that measure 4 meter by 1 meter each. Other than the dimensions, they have nothing in common and you would like to climb all of them one at a time. There is one finger with a trampoline, on which you cannot climb. This finger symbolizes the freedom of mountains. Another finger is made of glass and you can look down at the valley through the floor. The third one has a barock picture frame fitted on it. The fourth has an unobtrusive hole it in for you to look through it. The fifth finger has a telescope for bringing the Salzkammergut Mountains even closer.
8. Landscape Promontory
The Landscape Promontory in Switzerland has been designed by Paolo Burgi as a part of the Cardada project. The main objective of the project is to revive the historical reminiscence and therefore the designer decided to embed literature on the railings along the way. To build a strong and secure structure, steel and titanium lead was used for the passageway.
9. Infinity Room
Infinity Room also known as the House On the Rocks was designed by Alex Jordon Jr. This exquisitely designed destination offers an Inn and a Resort and they offer a delightful combination of sounds, sensations and above all breathe taking sights. You can enjoy swimming or simply relax at the inn. The Resort is your luxury retreat with a golf course and spa facilities to indulge your senses.
10. Iguazu Viewing Platform
Enjoying the scenic beauty of the White falls in Brazil had been common before the construction of the Iguazu viewing platform. The height and the depth of these falls have always excited people to go closer to the roaring water, and now they can do so by walking the length of the viewing platform. In fact the proximity of the fall is close enough to drench you while you take a walk.