Our first stop after Antarctica was the city of Stanley in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas, if you’re Argentinian). For hundreds of years both Britain and Argentina have claimed the Islands as their territory. In 1982 Argentina invaded the islands. The British, led by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, fought back and ultimately reclaimed the islands for Britain. Today it is a bastion of Britishness. A monument to the fallen soldiers and another to Margaret Thatcher were erected by the Islanders.
Another must see spot is the Whalebone Arch, situated in front of Christ Church Cathedral. It was originally constructed in 1933 from the jawbones of two blue whales to celebrate 100 years of British rule. After years of exposure to the elements, however, they have had to be restored and now should last long into the future.
We also took a tour to Bluff Cove Lagoon to see more penguins. We’ve already covered penguins so I won’t discuss them here other than to say that we saw Gentoos and Kings. We left Stanley in a bus and then transferred to a Jeep 4×4 for a 1/2 hour ride to the lagoon of which two minutes was on an actual road. The rest of the time was spent traveling over pothole filled fields!
Here is one more picture of a young Gentoo penguin covered in his fluffy coat. Until he trades this in for feathers, he cannot go into the water. The fluff falls out or is pulled out by the young penguin.
Take a look at the following picture. Can you tell me what’s missing? Still don’t see it? Ok, it’s trees. The Falkland Islands have no native trees! Any trees on the island were brought there by the Islanders. This makes for some very strong winds covering the islands.
Also on our tour we saw some other animals on the island: Galloway cattle, ducks and Upland geese, and a black-browed albatross. Then it was back to the city for a lunch of fish and chips at the “Victory Bar” (what else did you expect on a British Island?)
All in all it was a very nice day.