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  • The craziest elevators in the world

    Gateway Arch, photo by Ryan Kelly on Flickr

    Elevators are not usually at the top of a traveler’s must-see list, unless they have watched a particularly good thriller or if they don’t like being confined in small spaces. Elevators are notorious for their uninteresting music often even more uninteresting decor, but as hard to believe as it is, there are several elevators in the world that are actually exciting.

    If you have never thought that an elevator ride would be something to write home about, then you definitely haven’t been on any of the craziest elevators in the world. Forget all you’ve known about elevators so far, and prepare for a truly exhilarating experience.

    Gateway Arch Elevator, St Louis, Missouri, USA

    The Gateway Arch is one of the most famous landmarks in Missouri, and the tallest monument in the US to boot. If you visit St Louis, getting to the top of the Arch is a must, but your experience of the climb will depend on how you decide to do it.

    You can put your muscles to the test and climb the stairs, or take the tram, which is more exciting and less tiring. Or, you can take the elevator (which has a very futuristic design) and travel through the inside of the arch, literally seeing what it’s made of.

    Bailong Elevator, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan Province, China

    Falkirk Wheel, photo by James West on Flickr

    ZhangjiajieNational Forest Park is famous for its stunning pillar-shaped rock formations that loom over the lush forest, but the beauty of nature is not the only selling point of the park. Bailong Elevator has become a tourist attraction of its own.

    This glass elevator (whose name means ‘a hundred dragons’) will take you up a 330 meters high sheer cliff face, affording some spectacular views of the park.

    Falkirk Wheel, Falkirk, Scotland

    The Falkirk Wheel is one of those rare (and possibly the only) elevators that you could watch operating for hours at a time. The famous Falkirk Wheel wasn’t designed to move humans but…boats. The wheel connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, between which there is a difference of 24 meters in elevation. You can book a boat trip, and be lifted from one canal into the other while on a boat.

    Taipei 101 Elevator, Taiwan

    Aquadom, photo by Thomas Wanhoff on Flickr

    Currently, Taipei 101 is the seventh tallest freestanding structure in the world, at almost 510 meters. Riding the elevator from the first floor to the observation deck on the 89th floor takes surprisingly little, less than 40 seconds.

    The ride up is quite a thrill, but it’s the descent that will most likely make your stomach twist. If you like crazy theme park rides, you will love the return trip to the first floor.

    AquaDom, Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin, Germany

    The elevator in the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin is not what you’d expect – it is the world’s largest cylindrical aquarium elevator. The elevator shaft is encase in a tropical aquarium filled with hundreds of species of colorful tropical fish swimming around blissfully.

    The ride is quite slow, which is perfect if you want to admire the scenery. You don’t need to stay at the hotel to try the elevator, but you do need tickets to Sea Life Center located in the same complex as the hotel.

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