Ad
Ad
Ad
Tag

views

Browsing

[ad_1]

Would YOU brave it all? Dubai’s nerve-shredding ‘Sky Views’ attraction 720ft above the ground featuring a glass walkway, glass slide and an ‘edge walk’ (that you reach in a glass lift, naturally)

  • Sky Views Dubai is set on the 52nd and 53rd floors of the iconic twin-towered Address Sky View hotel 
  • The glass walkway is 46 metres (150ft) long and connects the two towers – the slide is on the floor above 
  • The slide has a transparent bottom and sides – so visitors with a head for heights get a 360-degree view 

Advertisement










It’s a glass act all round.

Sky Views Dubai is a new three-in-one attraction near the top of a Dubai tower that features a lot of glass – at a stomach-churning height.

Visitors are invited to test their nerves 720ft (219.5m) above the ground by walking along a glass walkway, going down a glass slide cantilevered over the side of the building – and, in an open-air zone, strapping themselves into a harness and hanging over the edge.

Sky Views Dubai is a new three-in-one attraction near the top of a Dubai tower that features a lot of glass – at a stomach-churning height. Pictured here is the cantilevered glass slide

Sky Views Dubai is a new three-in-one attraction near the top of a Dubai tower that features a lot of glass – at a stomach-churning height. Pictured here is the cantilevered glass slide

Sky Views Dubai says: 'Since the slide has a transparent bottom and sides, visitors get a 360-degree view - just don't look down if you're easily spooked!'

Sky Views Dubai says: ‘Since the slide has a transparent bottom and sides, visitors get a 360-degree view – just don’t look down if you’re easily spooked!’

And how are these thrilling activities reached? Via an express panoramic glass elevator, of course.

Sky Views Dubai, by real estate developer Emaar, is set on the 52nd and 53rd floors of the iconic twin-towered Address Sky View hotel – and the dedicated elevator zooms non-stop up the outside.

When guests step out a reminder of the altitude – 219.5 metres – is emblazoned on a wall.

Time for the fun to begin and the Instagrammable views of Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai and Sheikh Zayed Road to be snapped.

The glass walkway is 46 metres (150ft) long and connects the two towers. Those of a nervous disposition will be pleased to note that while there is, as hinted at, lots of glass, there are also plenty of steel beams visible underneath.

Those specks straight below? Cars.

The glass slide, meanwhile, propels visitors from level 53 to level 52 and takes the form of a rectangular sloping ‘corridor’ that’s transparent on all sides.

Sky Views Dubai says: ‘The Glass Slide boasts a safe, thrilling experience unlike any other in the world as guests of all ages will have the opportunity to transform their view of Dubai as they glide down, gazing at unparalleled vistas of the city. Sky Views Glass Slide is the ideal family-friendly attraction, perfect for all ages.’

It adds: ‘Since the slide has a transparent bottom and sides, visitors get a 360-degree view – just don’t look down if you’re easily spooked!’

The glass slide 'boasts a safe, thrilling experience unlike any other in the world'

The glass slide ‘boasts a safe, thrilling experience unlike any other in the world’

The glass walkway is 46 metres (150ft) long. Those of a nervous disposition will be pleased to note that while there is, as hinted at, lots of glass, there are also plenty of steel beams visible underneath

The glass walkway is 46 metres (150ft) long. Those of a nervous disposition will be pleased to note that while there is, as hinted at, lots of glass, there are also plenty of steel beams visible underneath

Sky Views Dubai, by real estate developer Emaar is set on the 52nd and 53rd floors of the iconic twin-towered Address Sky View hotel

The 'Edge Walk', at which guests are invited to 'walk out, lean back and touch the sky'

Sky Views Dubai, by real estate developer Emaar is set on the 52nd and 53rd floors of the iconic twin-towered Address Sky View hotel. Pictured right is the ‘Edge Walk’, at which guests are invited to ‘walk out, lean back and touch the sky’

The ‘Sky Views Edge Walk’, however, is the ultimate nerve-tester at Sky Views Dubai.

Here visitors walk on a ledge, ‘with no windows or other protective barriers standing between them and sky-high views’.

It’s stressed, though, that they are equipped with safety harnesses and complete a safety briefing before being invited to ‘walk out, lean back and touch the sky’.

Dubai was recently revealed as the best-rated destination in the world in Tripadvisor’s 2022 Travellers’ Choice Awards for destinations. 

For more information visit www.skyviewsdubai.com.

Address Sky View hotel, with the Sky Views Dubai glass slide visible top right

Address Sky View hotel, with the Sky Views Dubai glass slide visible top right

Advertisement



[ad_2]

[ad_1]

Playa del Ingles glimmers in the afternoon sun, its soft black sands shared by just half a dozen families.

This is not your typical Canary Islands beach, with no sign of the bars usually packed in to cater for those in search of sun, sand and sangria, and it couldn’t be more different from its namesake on Gran Canaria. This beach, backed by iron-red cliffs and a natural salt marsh, is on La Gomera, one of the quietest of the Canary Islands.

Just a 50-minute ferry ride from Tenerife, little La Gomera feels a world away. Its volcanic rocks have eroded to form a dramatic landscape of wide ravines, descending from the centre like the ridges of a giant orange-squeezer.

Clifftop eyrie: The view from the verdant Hotel Jardin Tecina, where the rooms are arranged up the slope like a Canarian village

Clifftop eyrie: The view from the verdant Hotel Jardin Tecina, where the rooms are arranged up the slope like a Canarian village

It’s an island of two halves – stark and arid in the south, while in the north it’s all verdant valleys and banana plantations, its upper slopes draped with laurel forests that could have come straight out of Jurassic Park.

Everywhere there are mesmerising views. Sheer volcanic plugs rise like giant obelisks, impossibly steep slopes that have been stepped by farmers in times gone by, clusters of pastel-coloured houses cling to the hillsides, and beyond, the sweep of the sea.

It wasn’t so much the beauty of the land but of the governor’s widow, Beatriz de Bobadilla, which detained Christopher Columbus for nearly a month in 1492 when he stopped at the island’s capital of San Sebastian before crossing the Atlantic. History tells us little of this time, but La Gomera has woven its own story over romantic trysts between the pair in one of the region’s oldest forts, the Torre del Conde. In the nearby charismatic Calle Real is the church where the explorer supposedly made his last confession before his voyage, and the Customs House, where a sign relates that he took water from the well to bless the New World.

Jane says that Playa del Ingles (pictured), with its soft black sands, is 'not your typical Canary Islands beach'

Jane says that Playa del Ingles (pictured), with its soft black sands, is ‘not your typical Canary Islands beach’ 

Local legend claims that Christopher Columbus and Beatriz de Bobadilla enjoyed 'romantic trysts' in the Torre del Conde (pictured)

Local legend claims that Christopher Columbus and Beatriz de Bobadilla enjoyed ‘romantic trysts’ in the Torre del Conde (pictured) 

The sights, along with a somewhat uninspiring museum in the 18th Century Casa de Colon, aren’t nearly as interesting as the stories, so rather than linger in San Sebastian, it’s better to head for the hills.

And what hills. Roads snake helter-skelter around them, then climb vertiginously before dropping headlong into the valleys, but they are wide, well maintained and easy to drive on.

And so we make it to the Garajonay National Park, where La Gomera’s highest pinnacle, the 5,000ft Alto de Garajonay, peeks through the laurel forest. From the car park, it’s a two-mile climb to the top.

Far better views are to be had, though, from the Mirador Morro de Agando, a short stroll through a forest that time forgot, thick with giant tree heathers and enormous dandelions. It’s almost as if we’re at the island’s mystical centre as we cross a wooden footbridge, all sunshine on the southern side and a white landscape of clouds to the north. Then, from the viewing platform, we gaze entranced at the Roque del Agando, which pierces the sky at 4,087ft.

Another spectacular viewpoint awaits at the Mirador Cesar Manrique, this time over the magnificent canyon that is the Valle Gran Rey, its lush narrow terraces at the bottom of the slopes dotted with palm trees and red-roofed houses.

Mystical: Garajonay National Park, pictured, is home to La Gomera’s highest pinnacle, the 5,000ft Alto de Garajonay

Mystical: Garajonay National Park, pictured, is home to La Gomera’s highest pinnacle, the 5,000ft Alto de Garajonay

Jane writes: 'We gaze entranced at the Roque del Agando (pictured), which pierces the sky at 4,087ft'

Jane writes: ‘We gaze entranced at the Roque del Agando (pictured), which pierces the sky at 4,087ft’

Gazing at its depths, it’s easy to understand why La Gomera’s inhabitants, rather than hike up and down slopes to speak to neighbours, once communicated using shrill whistles, known as silbo, that can carry over miles.

‘It’s not a Morse code or another language,’ says Francisco Correa from the silbo association, putting the tip of his finger to his lips to demonstrate the sing-song version of his name. ‘It’s a simple substitution of whistles for words.’

While silbo was at risk of dying out when the telephone came to La Gomera, it is now part of the school syllabus. It’s not easy, though, as my son and I discover during an impromptu lesson. It involves pressing the tongue against the back of the knuckles, and we were unable to emit a single sound.

Mirador de Abrante’s stunning walkway, pictured, juts out 2,000ft above the town of Agulo

Mirador de Abrante’s stunning walkway, pictured, juts out 2,000ft above the town of Agulo

Pictured is the chocolate-box town of Agulo, where Jane samples 'some of the island’s delicacies'

Pictured is the chocolate-box town of Agulo, where Jane samples ‘some of the island’s delicacies’

TRAVEL FACTS 

Five nights at Hotel Jardin Tecina on La Gomera, with two nights at the Bahia del Duque on Tenerife, both on a B&B basis, costs from £1,099pp with flights and ferry (sovereign.com).

Toursbylocals.com offers four-hour private tours of the island from £488. Holidayextras.com has parking at Gatwick Airport from £58 a week.

Francisco relates how when someone fell ill at the Mirador de Abrante viewpoint, an impressive glass-bottomed walkway that juts out 2,000ft above the town of Agulo, the doctor was alerted using silbo and arrived before the telephone-summoned emergency services.

It takes us a bit longer after admiring the view from Abrante to reach the chocolate-box town of Agulo, where we refuel on some of the island’s delicacies in what was once a schoolhouse – La Vieja Escuela. Here they serve palm syrup made from the trees’ sap mixed with cornflour in a heavy traditional dough called gofio, which tastes a bit like burnt popcorn. I prefer it poured over the local pudding of leche asada (roasted milk custard).

Better still is the almogrote – goat’s cheese mixed with red pepper, garlic, oil and salt.

Unsurprisingly, seafood is big on this island, and in the port of Playa de Santiago, where we are staying, we pile into plates of the freshest fish and prawns at La Cuevita, a small restaurant set into a cave.

It tastes even better with a glass of local white wine, made from the forastera grape.

Later, we return to our clifftop eyrie, the Hotel Jardin Tecina, via the lift in the mountain wall. The rooms, arranged up the slope like a Canarian village, are simple but come with superb sea views.

That night we open the balcony doors to look out at the sky – the stars burn bright in this part of the world. Suddenly, the most extraordinary noise greets us, almost like an army of frogs being strangled. It turns out the cries are from flocks of seabirds: shearwaters, returning with great fanfare to their nests in the cliffs.

Sometimes La Gomera isn’t the quiet Canary after all.

[ad_2]

[ad_1]

They are among Britain’s most majestic architectural monuments having been in place for nearly two centuries in some cases, but most people rushing to catch a train would never think to pause and study their grandeur. 

And now a stunning set of photographs taken for a book over the past couple of years when the stations across London were very quiet due to lockdowns has revealed just what commuters are missing if they fail to look up. 

From William Barlow’s magnificent roof over St Pancras built in the 1860s to the £550million modernist King’s Cross redesign finished in 2012, ‘London’s Great Railway Stations’ covers a wide breadth of different styles.

The earliest London terminals opened in the 1830s amid the first railway boom, with London Bridge becoming the capital’s first passenger terminus in December 1836, six months before Queen Victoria came to the throne.

The last main line to London, the Great Central to Marylebone, was opened in 1899, two years before Victoria died – and the most recent development, the much-delayed Crossrail, is due to open in full by the end of 2022.

The stations featured in the book are Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Euston, Fenchurch Street, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Marylebone, Paddington, St Pancras, Victoria and Waterloo. 

The photos were taken by Benjamin Graham, who is a club-circuit lecturer, international photo-tour leader and residential course photography tutor, and the book was written by public transport history expert Oliver Green. 

Network Rail chair Sir Peter Hendy, who wrote a forward, said: ‘Benjamin’s newly commissioned photographs will remind you of just how fabulous many of these stations are, and how much we should treasure them.’

He added: ‘The architecture of the great railway era has for the most part aged extraordinarily well, and the country, and particularly London, is all the richer for our great stations.’ 

  • London’s Great Railway Stations by Oliver Green and Benjamin Graham is published by Frances Lincoln, an imprint of The Quarto Group. The book was released on December 7 and is available for £35 in hardback
PADDINGTON -- The glorious interior of London Paddington in West London, with Great Western Railway's newly introduced bi-mode Intercity Express Trains, built by Hitachi. Isambard Kingdom Brunel's triple-span iron-and-glass roof built when the station was opened in 1854 remains among the most magnificent architectural structures in the world for any transport hub

PADDINGTON — The glorious interior of London Paddington in West London, with Great Western Railway’s newly introduced bi-mode Intercity Express Trains, built by Hitachi. Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s triple-span iron-and-glass roof built when the station was opened in 1854 remains among the most magnificent architectural structures in the world for any transport hub 

ST PANCRAS -- Eurostar trains prepare for departure under William Henry Barlow's roof at St Pancras - the world's tallest and widest single span structure at the time. It has been in place since the station opened in 1868. The cast-iron trainshed was designed to be 700ft long and reach 100ft above the first floor level of the tracks, tied into the brick piers of the side walls

ST PANCRAS — Eurostar trains prepare for departure under William Henry Barlow’s roof at St Pancras – the world’s tallest and widest single span structure at the time. It has been in place since the station opened in 1868. The cast-iron trainshed was designed to be 700ft long and reach 100ft above the first floor level of the tracks, tied into the brick piers of the side walls

WATERLOO -- The former Waterloo International terminal for Eurostar trains, which opened in 1994 but closed in 2007 when High Speed 1 opened to St Pancras. It lay unused for 12 years until the platforms could be converted back for domestic rail, re-opening in 2019. The book's authors say the 'brilliant design was a shocking waste of public money through poor planning'

WATERLOO — The former Waterloo International terminal for Eurostar trains, which opened in 1994 but closed in 2007 when High Speed 1 opened to St Pancras. It lay unused for 12 years until the platforms could be converted back for domestic rail, re-opening in 2019. The book’s authors say the ‘brilliant design was a shocking waste of public money through poor planning’

VICTORIA -- Railway lines exit from London Victoria, up the bank to Grosvenor Bridge and over the River Thames then past the shell of Battersea Power Station, now being restored to offices and apartments. Train sheds are pictured on the left, with the main line seen on the right. The station was built in 1860 as two separate stations next to each other, later combined into one

VICTORIA — Railway lines exit from London Victoria, up the bank to Grosvenor Bridge and over the River Thames then past the shell of Battersea Power Station, now being restored to offices and apartments. Train sheds are pictured on the left, with the main line seen on the right. The station was built in 1860 as two separate stations next to each other, later combined into one

LIVERPOOL STREET -- A nearly-empty main concourse at London Liverpool Street station which was expanded, opened up and part-reconstructed in the 1980s, with decorative features such as the Great Eastern Railway Company war memorial (top right, above the Underground sign) repositioned. The station, which is located in the City of London, opened in 1874

LIVERPOOL STREET — A nearly-empty main concourse at London Liverpool Street station which was expanded, opened up and part-reconstructed in the 1980s, with decorative features such as the Great Eastern Railway Company war memorial (top right, above the Underground sign) repositioned. The station, which is located in the City of London, opened in 1874

LONDON BRIDGE -- A wet winter's night at the new London Bridge station, which stands on the site of the first passenger railway terminus in London, which opened on December 14, 1836. The station was comprehensively redeveloped by Network Rail between 2009 and 2017 with the rebuilding of all 15 platforms and the addition of two major new street-level entrances

LONDON BRIDGE — A wet winter’s night at the new London Bridge station, which stands on the site of the first passenger railway terminus in London, which opened on December 14, 1836. The station was comprehensively redeveloped by Network Rail between 2009 and 2017 with the rebuilding of all 15 platforms and the addition of two major new street-level entrances

CHARING CROSS -- The bulk of post-modern Charing Cross, seen looking west over Waterloo Bridge.  The rear of the station is seen on the right. Charing Cross is the only main-line terminus conveniently serving the West End of London, and opened in 1864 as a result of the South Eastern Railway's determination to compete with its London, Chatham and Dover Railway rival

CHARING CROSS — The bulk of post-modern Charing Cross, seen looking west over Waterloo Bridge.  The rear of the station is seen on the right. Charing Cross is the only main-line terminus conveniently serving the West End of London, and opened in 1864 as a result of the South Eastern Railway’s determination to compete with its London, Chatham and Dover Railway rival

ST PANCRAS The original vehicle entrance to St Pancras at ground level, fully restored in 2012 but now pedestrianised. The ground-floor vaults below the first floor platforms were built with cast-iron pillars and girders to support the station floor deck above. They were divided into a grid based on the dimensions of the brewery warehouses in Burton-upon-Trent

ST PANCRAS The original vehicle entrance to St Pancras at ground level, fully restored in 2012 but now pedestrianised. The ground-floor vaults below the first floor platforms were built with cast-iron pillars and girders to support the station floor deck above. They were divided into a grid based on the dimensions of the brewery warehouses in Burton-upon-Trent

KING'S CROSS -- King's Cross station, which first opened in 1852, was redeveloped by Network Rail in a project completed in 2012 which restored and reglazed the original arched roof and removed the 1970s extension at the front. This meant the area between the station façade and Euston Road could be cleared to create an open air plaza named King¿s Cross Square

KING’S CROSS — King’s Cross station, which first opened in 1852, was redeveloped by Network Rail in a project completed in 2012 which restored and reglazed the original arched roof and removed the 1970s extension at the front. This meant the area between the station façade and Euston Road could be cleared to create an open air plaza named King’s Cross Square

PADDINGTON -- One of architect Matthew Digby Wyatt's Moorish window designs in 1854 for the original Great Western Railway offices, overlooking platform one at Paddington station. Less than a decade later, the world's first urban underground railway opened in January 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon Street, giving GWR a direct onward link to the City

PADDINGTON — One of architect Matthew Digby Wyatt’s Moorish window designs in 1854 for the original Great Western Railway offices, overlooking platform one at Paddington station. Less than a decade later, the world’s first urban underground railway opened in January 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon Street, giving GWR a direct onward link to the City

WATERLOO -- A beautiful-decorated window over the former cab entrance at Waterloo station, which is now visible close up for the first time from the balcony around the concourse that opened in 2012. Today, Waterloo is the busiest railway station in Britain, used by more than 80 million passengers in a normal year and linking the capital with much of the South West

WATERLOO — A beautiful-decorated window over the former cab entrance at Waterloo station, which is now visible close up for the first time from the balcony around the concourse that opened in 2012. Today, Waterloo is the busiest railway station in Britain, used by more than 80 million passengers in a normal year and linking the capital with much of the South West

LONDON BRIDGE -- A wider pedestrian route at London Bridge station was created below the platforms through the Western Arcade to Joiner Street and the Underground station during the major £1billion redevelopment between 2009 and 2017. This change meant relocating the existing shops into renovated barrel vaults set back from the arcade on either side

LONDON BRIDGE — A wider pedestrian route at London Bridge station was created below the platforms through the Western Arcade to Joiner Street and the Underground station during the major £1billion redevelopment between 2009 and 2017. This change meant relocating the existing shops into renovated barrel vaults set back from the arcade on either side

LIVERPOOL STREET The west side of Liverpool Street railway station, which was restored and reconstructed in the 1980s. As part of the six-year redevelopment, four new brick towers in Victorian style - which were inspired by the design of the famed Great Eastern Hotel - were installed in pairs to mark the station entrances on Liverpool Street and Bishopsgate

LIVERPOOL STREET The west side of Liverpool Street railway station, which was restored and reconstructed in the 1980s. As part of the six-year redevelopment, four new brick towers in Victorian style – which were inspired by the design of the famed Great Eastern Hotel – were installed in pairs to mark the station entrances on Liverpool Street and Bishopsgate

VICTORIA -- The listed roof of the former London, Chatham and Dover Railway part of London Victoria station was designed by John Fowler, engineer of the Metropolitan Railway. This side of the station was once run entirely separately from the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway and there was no physical connection between them, to the confusion of travellers

VICTORIA — The listed roof of the former London, Chatham and Dover Railway part of London Victoria station was designed by John Fowler, engineer of the Metropolitan Railway. This side of the station was once run entirely separately from the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway and there was no physical connection between them, to the confusion of travellers

KING'S CROSS -- The new departures concourse building on the west side of King's Cross station, with its spectacular roof support structure, opened in 2012. The area around King's Cross and St Pancras, which are a short walk away from each other, is known as London's most complex transport hub because three surface and six Underground lines meet in the same area

KING’S CROSS — The new departures concourse building on the west side of King’s Cross station, with its spectacular roof support structure, opened in 2012. The area around King’s Cross and St Pancras, which are a short walk away from each other, is known as London’s most complex transport hub because three surface and six Underground lines meet in the same area

London's Great Railway Stations is by Oliver Green and Benjamin Graham. Pictured is the cover image of Paddington station

London’s Great Railway Stations is by Oliver Green and Benjamin Graham. Pictured is the cover image of Paddington station

[ad_2]