Yep! Cathy must have loved a life on the edge because historians documented her orders to create 70-80 foot hills of ice, or “Russian Mountains.” The late 18th century slides were reinforced with wood and included a 50 degree drop.
And before long, Russians paid good money to stand in lines for hours to enjoy a roller coaster ride that lasted a few seconds. (Okay, I may have made up that last part.)
Historians did not document the number of fatalities.
But the idea must have caught on as the French soon created their own version. In fact, Wikipedia points out that many experts argue that the French created the first roller coaster.
However, the French version came out 25 years after Catherine’s version and was called ‘The Russian Mountains of Belleville’. I’m guessing the Wikipedia “experts” were French and horning in on a Russian idea.
As for the best roller coaster, The Daily Cupcake is Swiss and refuses to take sides. There are steel coasters and wood coasters. Fastest, steepest, longest coasters. Coasters that hang. Coasters with cars. Coasters with loops. With or without water. So “the best” becomes a matter of personal taste.
All I know is that once I could ride any of them and loved it.
Now, just remembering my last go round on Six Flags’ Texas Giant makes me want to hurl.
Happy Roller Coaster Day!