I am not sure why I ended up in Ushuaia but I think I was thinking about extremes. So I looked at the map and thought about what is the most southern town in our hemisphere that would be a good visit. Turns out Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world according to Wikipedia. It not only is a launching spot for boats to Antarctica but it also is a good spot to engage in some extreme sports.
Tooling around town, the first thing I noticed was the amazing backdrop of the Andes Fueguinos Mountains. These are the southern chain of the Andes and they are spectacular and seen from all angles of the city.
As I approached town from the west one of the first businesses I ran into was this Kayak/Adventure outfitter. I think this is a fitting picture which also reflects the mountains in the windows.
The next thing that struck me was the architecture which truly shows that this place gets some snow. The pitched roofs are very steep. There can be snow in the summer but the temperatures are moderated by the ocean water. But check out all these cool houses with pitched roofs that I passed as I was getting closer to town.
As I traveled through the neighborhoods, I came across a park that I had to investigate. Check this out. It is a park that looks like it has a toboggan run in the middle of it. It looks a little fun but I was not sure how it was used. Like maybe it was a waterslide for the summer or something that you can ride a skateboard down. Here are a few photos of the park:
I had to get to the bottom of it so as I was going around town, I found a tour company that I decided to email to see if they knew what this was for. I got a response back from Mailén Palacios at "Tours by Design" saying that it is basically a sledding track that is used in winter like a toboggan run. I wasn't expecting that but it was pretty cool in my opinion.
I love taking screenshots of cool murals on my non-travels and Ushuaia did not disappoint. But I also noticed some interesting trask baskets around town. They look like the designated places to put your trash on trash days, I think a good word for them would be trashkets. But here is some of the coolest murals and trashkets I encountered:
As I got closer to the center of town I passed a skatepark, the docks where the National Geographic ships to Antarctica leave from, ski shops, bookstores and a most curious museum that had characters trying to escape the side of the building!
I love the fact that Streetview blocked the face of the one character trying to escape. Not sure if the soldiers faces didn't register as people or not. But this is the Galeria Tematica Historia Fueguina which is a pretty interactive museum of the history of Tierra del Fuego. It starts with native populations and includes prison cells that you can go into to recreate the famous prison at the end of the world in Ushuaia. Apparently, prisoners on good behavior would take a train to the woods to help chop down trees that would help build the city. This prison was in operation from 1896 to 1947.
As I continued to explore the city, the photos that I kept seeing in Streetview were almost exclusively attributed to Farid Monti so I made a point to reach out and have a conversation with him! It was the coolest thing ever! To have an opportunity to connect with someone thousands of miles away, out of the blue was a lot of fun. I learned that he is a Google Local Guide and he posts tons of photos and even leads workshops on how to become a local guide as well. He is from a nearby town of Rio Grande and have to say, is really proud of their trout! Check out the photo below:
This brings me to the next evolution in this project. I now have a stronger mission to go to random places, make a connection and have a conversation. I look forward to the next places I will not travel to, and the people I will get to meet.