Thursday, 10 April 2008

Photo Essay 3. Antarctica

I just had the opportunity to travel for a couple of weeks to Antarctica aboard the Ushuaia, a ship that was designed for marine research and is now used to take tourists in a memorable and rewarding expedition cruise. The Ushuaia is 84 metres in length and 15 in breadth, his gross tonnage is 2963 tonnes and the maximum speed is 14 knots. The captain and the officers encourage the passengers to take advantage of the open bridge policy to observe the navigational operations of the ship and to enjoy the views of the unique places you are visiting. Each evening the expedition leader and lecturers present information not just about the next day's activities, but also about conservation and respect for the ecosystems you visit. Our voyage started from Ushuaia pier, where a few workers were waiting orders to start loading all kind of products to be consumed mainly in Europe. I took some pictures while waiting for my trip and I thought it could make a good introduction to explain travel from almost opposite angles.
Tourism as a global phenomenon can be approach from many different points of view and there is no doubt Tourism transform places and experiences so quickly in certain ways we have never seen before.
The Vernadskiy Station in Antartica for instance is becomming a metheorology theme park for tourists or maybe just improving his revenue to be reinvest in research.
La Boca in Buenos Aires has lost completely his identity and historical roots to please tourists or maybe is just transforming his urban structures for a better future.
Probably you could simplify the analysis from either the tourist or the worker perspective. I thought it could be interesting to show the other side, people working for tourist while doing exactly the same trip, eating the same food, seeing the same landscapes but having most probably very different experiences.

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