Ushuaia, the end of the world

On Saturday July 9th, my dad and I left Chile for Argentina. We travelled by bus from Punta Arenas in Chile to the most southern city in the world, Ushuaia. The trip (13 hours) was a whole expedition. Unfortunately no night bus but we quickly understood why: the road was made of gravel and earth nearly all the way. It wasn’t the most beautiful trip in terms of landscapes which are rather plain – a few Estancias on the way but not much more. There was an interesting part to the trip – we crossed the famous Strait of Magellan on a ferry. The border crossing was easy but it took a while. We had to change bus from Rio Grande to Ushuaia. The bus broke down. Luckily, this happened at the entrance of the city so a second bus came over to pick us up. We then had a three hour trip to Ushuaia, arriving at 10:30 pm. I was a bit disappointed when we arrived as I thought there would be snow on the streets but there was nothing, only a few patches.

Sunday was my 100th day of trip and I was happy to spend it in Ushuaia but the weather was awful. There was so much fog that we couldn’t past 10 m. We went to visit the maritime museum which was interesting. This museum is located in the old prison of Ushuaia where the inmates were sent from Europe to colonise the continent. It felt kind of weird to be in a prison. At the end of the day, the weather cleared up and we were able to see the surrounding mountains for the first time. There are very close to the city so it’s a beautiful landscape and pretty unusual for a city.

On Monday, we woke up to a beautiful blue sky. At this time of year, the sun rises up around 10 am and sets down around 6 pm. We decided to go to the Cerro Castor, the ski resort situated 26 kilometres away from the city. My dream was to ski in Ushuaia but I had to resign when I saw the state of the slopes. Unfortunately the snow hasn’t come yet so the slopes are made of artificial snow and it’s very hard and there was only 2 slopes which were open. The resort looks great when they have snow, the slopes are wide and steep, the things I like! We did take the chair-lift up to the Cato 480 and we had lunch in the restaurant. The view from the top on the valley was very nice. In the evening we had our first Argentinean Parrilla (barbecue) and it was delicious. That’s one thing they know how to do in this country, grill meat. The name of the restaurant was “La Estancia”, I really recommend it.

On Tuesday morning, we walked to the Aeroclub located on the other shoreline of Ushuaia. Form there we had a lovely view over the city with the mountains in the background and of the harbour. We then left for the airport as we are heading to El Calafate.

I enjoyed my stay in this city but three days is more than enough. Everything is expensive and there are a lot of fancy shops and restaurants. It did remind me a bit of these fancy ski resorts in Switzerland like Gstaad for example, although less kitsch and classy. I don’t think I would come back but I’m happy I went as it was one of the places I really wanted to visit on my trip.

One recommendation : if you plan on spending the weekend in Ushuaia, draw some money out during the week. We couldn’t draw any money out for two days as there was no more cash in the ATM machines and we had to use our credit cards for everything.

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