PORT OF USHUAIA
Ushuaia Travel Blog› entry 5 of 23 › view all entries
November 28th, 2008 – by: mellemel8
JUST 2 MORE DAYS AS SEA......
After lunch, we walked around to go shopping. I did not want to go shopping. I want to explore and take photos. I hung out with mum for a little bit then I walk by myself all over town. I wanted to get some exercise. I am preparng for my "sea legs". HEHEHE
i walked up and down the main street of Ushuaia. I walked on Gab. Deloqui and San Martin to check out the town. I wanted to check out a few chocolate bistros. I wanted to walk around before being at sea for the next 2 days or the next landing. This was your normal port town; there are restaurants, gift shops, bakeries….
There were plenty of real estate agencies as well. The properties are not bad here. We are near Patagonia and the Chilean fjords. It is not a bad location. It is quite cold but I am ok with the weather here. There is also a building with a big sign that says “CASINO”. WOW I was very curious, I walked towards it, yep sure enough there are tables or craps, poker you name it.
I walked towards where I left my mum. There were a few chocolate bistros I passed by. I went to Laguna Negra. I bought a hot cocoa and I tasted a few sample of chocolates. I was in chocolate heaven that I forgot to take photos HAHAHAHHA truly. I ordered the dark chocolate with almonds and dark chocolate with hazelnuts. I am glad they accept dollars. I bought some for mum to try. I was a happy camper on the way back.
I picked up my mum then we walked towards the bus where we will be dropped off at the pier. We took some “holiday card” photos next to the “WELCOME TO USHUAIA” sign. I took photos of grey gulls and landscape photos of beagle channel.
INSIDE THE MV FRAM
We checked in our cabin and received our card keys. Our cabin was in deck 6, cabin 630 starboard side. After we dropped off our carry on and we went to the dining room to have a buffet welcome dinner. As soon as I arrived, we were welcomed by a group of Filipino waiters. I took photos of the food of course. I sat down and Elmer, our waiter is Filipino as well. My mum and I were greeted with smiles. The whole entire dinning crew is Filipino. We were told there are Chileans, Indians, Indonesians, Germans, and Norwegians board, but mainly Filipinos.
Elmer was saying that is very rare to see Filipinos taking a expedition like this.
After dinner, I went to deck 7 to watch the boat leave the port. It was somewhat sunny. I wanted to take photos of the snow and city. It will take about a few hours to leave Beagle Channel to enter the dreaded DRAKE PASSAGE!!!!! While at sea, we had movies to watch about Antarctica and geology. We also have lectures from the expedition team. This is quite an educational voyage. I reminded my mum to take Dramamine. It could be DRAKE THE LAKE or DRAKE THE QUAKE or SHAKE.....
USHUAIA PRISON MUSEUM
On January 1896 the first group of 14 convicts arrived on board the naval ship "1° de Mayo".
The idea was to colonize with convicts and they immediately sent 11 more men and 9 women volunteers. All were ex-convicts who had fallen again.
The Military Prison on The Isla de los Estados, First functioned in San Juan de Salvamento an later in Puerto Cook. In December 1902 was moved for humanitarian reason to Ushuaia. The place chosen was Puerto Golondrina to the west of the city. There was notion to build a penal colony also this not prosper.
In 1911 the president of the Nation signed a decree that fused the Military Prison and the jail of Ushuaia.
THE BUILDING CONSTRUCTION
I In 1902 construction started in the National Prison. The site selected was the same where temporary constructions were, east of the little town of Ushuaia which consisted of little more than 40 houses.
The originated idea was to build a Penal Colony for 580 convicts at Lapataia, for which 2500 acres of land were reserved on the border with Chile.
In 1920 the jail had 5 pavilions with 79 exterior facing cells each. The 380 cells were single but the jail housed more than 600 convicts at one time.
Between the N° 1 and 5 a bakery. To the front of the bay an administration building was erected. The workshops were housed in separate buildings. Only in 1943 a modern hospital was inaugurated which later became the hospital for the Naval Base and for a long time the only hospital in the zone.
The Main Hall was used as a conference hall, cinema and auditorium for any occasion.
WORK AND DISCIPLINE
As time went by, convicts guilty of serious crimes, many for lifetime or long sentences were sent there.
The system used was based on work for lifetime with a little salary. They also had primary school education and sever discipline.
The jail had 30 different work areas, some being outside the limits of the jail.
The workshops tended the jails needs and rendered services to all the town of Ushuaia. These were the first press, telephone, electricity, fire station, etc.
Outside the jail the convicts were used for building streets, bridges, buildings and also all the timberland.
In this way thanks to the convicts a railway was built in the year 1910. This became the southernmost railway in the world. Was 25 km long and ran alongside Maipu street to Monte Susana and split in two sections towards what is today the National Park.
The jail had various ships among which the "Godoy" was the most known.
I did not have time to do one. I am also trying to keep warm as well. there was plenty of chocolate bistros on the main street. I took photos of the our boat, MS FRAN from the hill.
When we walked back to bus to drop us off the boat, we took photos near the “WELCOME TO USHUAIA” sign. we all went through security to the port of Ushuaia. The Argentina navy boats were there as well. there was submarine docked near us.
HISTORY OF USHUAIA
Ushuaia is the capital of the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego and is said to be the southernmost city in the world.
It is the only municipality in the Department of Ushuaia, which has an area of 9,390 km2 (3,625 sq mi).
The city was originally named by early British colonists after the name that the native Yámana people had for the area. Much of the early history of the city and its hinterland is described in great detail in Lucas Bridges’s book Uttermost Part of the Earth (1948).
For most of the first half of the 20th century, the city was centered around a prison for serious criminals. The Argentine government set up this prison following the example of the British with Australia or the French with Devil's Island; escape from a prison on Tierra del Fuego was similarly impossible.
View of the Beagle Channel.
Ushuaia is surrounded by Magellanic subpolar forests; on the hills around the town, the following indigenous trees are local to the area: Drimys winteri (Winter's bark), Maytenus magellanica (hard log mayten) and several species of Nothofagus that give to the landscape a magnificent greenness.
Ushuaia claims to be the "Southernmost city in the world".. There are two other contenders for the title of southernmost city: Puerto Williams on the Chilean island of Navarino (farther south but it has only 2500 inhabitants) and Punta Arenas, Chile, (much larger but farther north).
The main reasons that Ushuaia can claim to be the "Southernmost City in the World" are that Ushuaia has a fully functional hospital, institutions of higher learning as well as secondary schools, industrial sector which is mainly the presence of the large Grundig electronics plant, currently named 'Renacer', an organized transportation system and a functioning municipality, all of which allow to make it an actual city in its own right: "an urban settlement of a particularly important status". Ushuaia is also the capital of the Tierra del Fuego Province.
Ushuaia is a key access point to the southern regions; it receives regular flights from Buenos Aires at Ushuaia International Airport. The city itself is a popular vacation spot for people from Buenos Aires. Flights are also available from Santiago, Chile.
The tourist attractions include the Tierra del Fuego National Park to see Lapataia Bay; the park can be reached on the End of the World Train (Tren del Fin del Mundo) from Ushuaia. The city has a museum of Yamana, English, and Argentine settlement, including its years as a prison colony. Wildlife attractions include local birds, penguins and orcas as seen on the islands in the Beagle Channel. There are daily bus and boat tours to Harberton, the estancia of the Bridges family.
There are a number of ski areas nearby, like Cerro Castor and Glaciar Martial. The glacier is also a tourist destination during the summer months, when the chairlift operates in both directions. Hiking trails lead from the city's edge to the base of the glacier, which has shrunk dramatically over the past century, as shown in photographs on display. Cerro Castor is a mountain located 27 km (17 miles) north of Ushuaia; it is possible to ski hardly 200 m (660 ft) above sea level reaching the summit at 1057 meters (3468 ft) above sea level.
Celebrity Cruises MV Zenith and Orient Lines MS Marco Polo Cruise Ships at Ushuaia
Cruise ships visiting the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and Antarctica dock at the port, as well as Princess Cruises, Holland America, Celebrity Cruises which transit between Valparaíso, Chile, to Buenos Aires and beyond. Orient Lines, MS Marco Polo, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Hurtigruten and other ships provide expeditions to Antarctica out of Ushuaia. The cruise boats periodically do scenic cruising to Antarctica, as do expedition yachts such as S/V Seal and S/V Pelagic.
Tourists can also visit Cape Horn island (in Chilean waters) by boat or helicopter.
Despite receiving only 560 mm (22 in) of precipitation yearly on average, Ushuaia's climate is very wet. On average the city experiences 160 days of rain or snow a year, and there are many cloudy and foggy days. Advancing to the southern outer islands, the southwestern winds make them wetter, achieving 1,400 mm (55 in) at Isla de los Estados (Staten Island). Because temperatures are cool throughout the year, there is little evaporation. Snowfalls are common in winter and regularly happen in any season, including summer.
The climate is maritime subarctic. Averages temperatures coldest month: 1°C (33°F) and warmest month: 9°C (48°F). Record low -20 °C (-4°F) (July), record high 31 °C (87.8°F) (December) and record low ever recorded in summer -6 °C (21°F) (February).
Very strong winds whip the town. Trees that grow in Ushuaia tend to follow the wind direction, and therefore they are called "flag-trees", named after the bend that they are forced to take.
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