Southernmost Little City in the World

Originally posted December 30, 2005 by Linda Lou Burton from Ushuaia, Argentina – Ushuaia, you need a new press agent. I mean, you lead the list as “Southernmost City in the World,” at Latitude 53, and, you are. And you are the southernmost city in South America, (when it is pointed out that Puerto Williams is just a “settlement”) and southernmost city in Argentina, for sure. You are the “last stop” when most folks head for Antarctica, so you’re hard to miss. You have a national park in your back door and an airport big enough for the Concorde.

But that’s about all there is in the tour info. Your picture won’t come up on Google Earth, and, anyway, how are you PRONOUNCED? Us-who-ee-a? You-shy-uh?

I was looking forward to being there, because, for one, I’d been to Barrow, Alaska, the Northernmost City in North America, in summer there; Ushuaia completed my plan to visit the Southernmost City in South America in summer too. A tick-mark on the Accomplishment Chart. And, after 36 hours at sea, I was looking forward to walking on land again, seeing buildings, and traffic lights. All that day-in-the-life stuff.¬†Nobody told me you’d take my breath away!

When I caught sight of you this morning I fell in love. There you sit, tucked between the clean, clear waters of the Beagle Channel and the end-of-the-Andes chain. No foothills block the views, just sea and mountains, top to bottom, bottom to top.

I don’t know your politics, Ushuaia, and I don’t know the quality of your restaurant food, or the comfort of your bed-pillows. Because, darn it, my one regret of the trip, I had no time to get to know you first-hand.

I saw you from the ship this morning, I breathed your sparkling air, and then, whoosh, onto the dreaded tour bus, zip-zip around with nary a foot on the ground, and dropped ka-plop with all my tour-buds at your airport.

Goodbye Ushuaia, I hope to be back someday. Meanwhile, you really ought to let people know how charming you are. I, for one, will be telling.