Monday, November 16, 2015

Ushuaia Is A City And Not A Town!!!!!!!

My dear friends I am heart broken about what happened in Paris and in Kenya. 276 precious lives were lost due to insane barbarism and a desire to impose an outmoded system of thought on the whole world. Even at my age cruelty and barbarism shocks me and hurts me.
It was my first day of exploring "at the bottom of the world." Ushuaïa​ is not a small town. Rather it is a small city. It has a lot of traffic and plenty of cars. They drive fast and one has to be alert. I survived the morning and found a charming coffee shop that was warm and with excellent rest rooms. I later enjoyed a seafood luncheon. (I cannot survive without my beloved shrimp!!) I explored the boat tours. I took a 90-minute bus tour of the city.
This city started out as a penal colony. It was supposed to be a prison for Argentina's most dangerous criminals. Sometimes it was and sometimes it was not. Some relatively minor offenders ended up in prison here and were released quickly. The prison did create an economic boom with a lot of people coming from Chile to work in the prison service. The prison was open from 1902 to 1947. The Argentina Navy took over the prison complex and built a large naval base here. The cell blocks became a museum. Ushuaia became a port and a center for maritime rescues in the tricky and dangerous waters around here. Tourists discovered this remote area for its natural beauty. Eventually a big tourism industry grew up including cruises to the South Pole, Cape Town, and the Malvinas islands. I went out to the old airport and got a stunning view of the city from across the bay. Tomorrow I begin some boat tours.