The fantastically named Tiger & Turtle — Magic Mountain art installation in Duisburg, Germany, is billed on the city’s website as a “walkable roller coaster,” a claim bold enough to demand scrutiny.
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was not even walkable when my family visited. We were able to scale the hilly paths leading up to the site, but a locked gate prevented us from setting foot on the twisting metal structure. Social distancing precautions, as the city’s website helpfully explained when I finally read it after making the long drive north, are impossible on the installation’s narrow walkways.
But the structure definitely looks like a roller coaster, and we enjoyed our time there even in the absence of the expected walk/ride, so I’m willing to accept the city’s grandiose characterization.
Designed by German artists Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth and opened in 2011, Tiger & Turtle — Magic Mountain sits prominently atop a high hill in southern Duisburg. The climb can be completed the easy way, via a set of meandering paved and signposted walkways, or the hard way, via perilously steep swaths sliced through the surrounding thicket of trees and bushes.
We tried a little of each approach on the ascent and descent and came away largely unscathed.
The reward for reaching the top is a remarkable vantage point of the surrounding area. Magic Mountain is located very close to the Rhine River, albeit a primarily industrial section of the famous waterway. The view of the port and smokestacks is fascinating, if not exactly beautiful.
More conventionally attractive scenery is available by shifting one’s gaze in the direction of Duisburg’s historic old city and the sprawling countryside of the Ruhr valley. Tiger & Turtle was clearly positioned to further enhance these views from atop the structure, but the experience from solid ground is rewarding enough.
Finally, a review of Tiger & Turtle would be incomplete without addressing the elephant in the room. How do you walk the loops? The anticlimactic answer is — you don’t. The stairs stop before the inversions, so there’s no chance of going upside-down on this walkable roller coaster. As magical as this mountain is, that would be a step too far.
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DIRECTIONS: Tiger & Turtle — Magic Mountain is located in Duisburg, Germany, a drive of just over three hours from the Kaiserslautern Military Community. Ample parking and a convenient approach to the attraction are available on the adjacent Berzeliusstrasse.
TIMES: The site is open around the clock, but walk-on entry to Tiger & Turtle is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
INFORMATION: Learn more about the art installation and check for reopening updates at the city’s website, duisburg.de/tourismus.