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Argentina’s Final Frontier

By Linda Tancs

The southernmost city in the world and the gateway to Antarctica, Ushuaia is Argentina’s final frontier. In the past, the town has been a missionary base, a penal colony and a naval base for the Argentine navy. Perched on a steep hill, it’s surrounded by the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel, where adventures with penguins and orcas await. It’s also a prime site where “the longest night in the world” is celebrated. Although the festivities continue from June 20 through June 22, the longest night of the year and the winter solstice take place in the Southern Hemisphere on June 21. That’s the focus for the city’s festival, drawing hundreds of thousands of tourists. A key event is a “burning of obstacles and impediments,” wherein participants write down all the difficulties that have prevented them from fulfilling their goals. The papers are then thrown into a large bonfire on the solstice night.

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