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A Visit to the Maritime and Prison Museum, Ushuaia

03 Ushuaia Marfitime Museum

The Maritime and Prison Museum was originally constructed in the late 19th century as a prison (by prisoners).  It consists of 5 two-story wings built onto a central hub.  The prison became the most southerly situated jail in the world and was where Buenos Aires sent prisoners it didn’t want to house locally — sort of like the English sending prisoners to Australia.
The prison had 380 cells which housed up to 800 inmates ranging from political prisoners to murderers.  In some ways the prison was reformative, prisoners receiving a basic education and pay for work performed (which they could take with them when — or if — they ever left).  The prison ran various shops that served the needs of …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 2, 2020: The Coin Artist, Ushuaia

00 Ushuaia Coin Man

In a park along Ushuaia’s waterfront is a small market featuring small “mom and pop” gift shops, like this one.  Most sell junk like crappy t-shirts and hats, but this one caught our eye.
This gentleman is an artist.  He takes coins from around the world, meticulously cuts out the artwork within them to make lovely pendents featuring animals, flowers, buildings, heroes, etc. — a large assortment of beautiful items.  I’d only in decades of traveling seen one other display of its type, and that many years ago.
My wife is extremely fond of horses and purchased several horse pendants for herself and as gifts.  The artist was appreciative and pleased to know his handiwork was traveling to California and Washington state.
(Clock …

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, October 2, 2020: The Coin Artist, Ushuaia
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Chocolateria Ovejitas de la Patagonia, Ushuaia

Chocolateria Ovejitas de la Patagonia 05

Ushuaia, even during its summer, is a cool, wet and windy city.  My wife and I spent several days here and wandered many of its streets and attractions. During our exploration we came across this rather cute chocolate and coffee/tea shop, and thought a jolt of warm caffeine and sugar was just what we needed.
We were pleasantly surprised by what we found inside.  A large and beautifully presented selection of sweet treats as nice as any I can recall seeing.  Huge slabs of chocolate and fudge dominated, with bon-bons and a large variety of gift items. We settled for a huge slab of delicious cake (to share) and nice cups of cappuccino.  We took along a few slices of chocolate …

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Near the MALBA, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires 002 Palermo Malbec Museum

While visiting Buenos Aires, my wife and I wanted to see the MALBA, a museum of modern Latin-American art that came highly recommended.  It was a rainy day and when our taxi dropped us off at the steps of the MALBA we were disappointed to find it closed for the day.  So it goes — should have called ahead before coming.
Not wanting to waste the morning, we decided to walk around the upscale Palermo Chico neighborhood in which the museum is situated.  It’s a safe neighborhood — not all areas of Buenos Aires are recommended for tourists — and we had no firm plans about where to go.  We just wanted to explore a little.
A few blocks south on Ave …

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Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 8) Feasting at Sea

10 King Crabe served on mote wheat with cilantro dressing, grissini with herbs

My final post for this adventure into the Patagonian fjords of Chile focuses on the very wonderful food we were served aboard the Australis.  We received three meals a day in the ship’s dining room mostly (as I recall) buffet style, including hearty breakfasts with a large choice of items, a tasty lunch, but no question the highlight of our culinary day was dinner.  We had four dinners aboard the Australis and I found each of them photogenic enough to be “documented”.  I never planned on making a blog of what I ate, so I didn’t photograph everything — just those items that looked wonderful (and were!)
Besides the very tasty meals, the service of our crew throughout the ship was …

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Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 7) Wulaia Bay

00 Bahia Wulaia

Our final stop before the Australis headed to port in Ushuaia was at historic Wulaia Bay, a pretty spot visited by many navigators over the centuries.
The area around Wulaia Bay has long been settled by man, with archaeological studies showing evidence of human habitation for more than 10,000 years, these being the nomadic Yahgan aboriginal people.  The Yaghan population was strong 150 years ago but today has been largely decimated; less than 2000 individuals remain.

Journey to Wulaia Bay

Journey to Wulaia Bay


The famous British exploration vessel, HMS Beagle, visited the area twice.  The first time was during her 1826 – 1830 voyage wherein Captain Fitzroy charted many of the channels in the Patagonian fjords, making for safer sailing of the region.  The return journey lasted from 1831 …

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Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 6) A Storm at Cape Horn

00 Cape Horn

We headed south across Nassau Bay on the morning of our last full day aboard the Australis.  Our hope was to be able to go ashore at Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos), the most southerly island in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago — weather and conditions allowing.  When I enquired about what our odds of going ashore were the night before, I was told 50-50.  I think, in retrospect, that was an overly optimistic prediction.

Route Map, Cape Horn

Route Map, Cape Horn


It would have been nice to walk on this remote island, the most southern point of South America.  It was discovered by the Dutch in 1616 and is known as the “End of the Earth”.  Cape Horn has a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory which overlooks …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 1, 2020: Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires

07 Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires

On the eastern side of Plaza de Mayo stands a beautiful and impressive building known as Casa Rosada (“pink house”).  It is thought that the color of the building comes from the 19th century habit of mixing cow’s blood with white paint.  When it was built in the 19th century, it was overlooking the river although with subsequent landfill it is now well inland and more than a kilometer from the river.

The Casa Rosada houses the President of Argentina’s offices; the Presidential residence is in Olivas, north of here.  The building is probably best know for It association with Eva Perón.  It was from the Presidential balcony of Casa Rosada that she often addressed her many supporters in Plaza de Mayo, including her …

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