Port Stanley, located on East Falkland, is the capital and the largest settlement. Remote as it is, there are only about 2500 people who live there but the island offers a huge variety of things to do for the residents and tourists.
GENERAL INFORMATION; PORT STANLEY THE FALKLAND ISLANDS:
The island chain has two main islands; East and West island and 776 smaller islands. Port Stanley is located on East Island and that is where I visited. Most residents are of British descent and the culture of Britain is dominant.
Fun Fact: During the Southern Summer, an estimated 1 million penguins call the Falkland islands “home”. The five species of penguins found there are: King, Gentoo, Rockhopper, Magellanic, and Macaron. The penguins are such an amazing draw, that the cruise line offered “Penguin Excursions”.
A BIT OF HISTORY:
Because of the geographic location, The Falklands’, history has been dominated by shipping and fishing. Being strategically located, the islands were a convenient destination for ship repair along with being a stopover for Antarctic expeditions. They also played a role during both world wars in the control of South America.
For years, there had been disputes between Great Britain and Argentina regarding the control of the Falkland Islands. In 1982 the islands were invaded by Argentina escalating territorial tensions and drawing Great Britain in to protect its interests in The Falklands and other nearby British-controlled territories. After the war ended and Great Britain had prevailed, the residents of the Falklands were given British citizenship. To this day, there is a bomb disposal unit in town that remains a legacy of the Falklands War.
PORT STANLEY FALKLAND ISLANDS TODAY AND ITS OFFERINGS:
For a small island, Port Stanley has much to offer. There are 3 churches, a golf course, 3 or 4 bars, a dozen or so hotels, and a handful of restaurants. Arriving by boat, I was able to see the remnants of shipwrecks in the harbor.
MY TRAVEL EXPERIENCE AND OBSERVATIONS:
Only there for one day, I found Port Stanley to be a quiet yet charming town. The people were friendly and seemed to be genuinely happy for tourists to visit. We didn’t have a ton of time to explore so we did kind of an Evelyn Woods tour of the island. No time, for penguins so we concentrated on the attractions in town.
THE ANGLICAN CHURCH:
Christ Church Cathedral is the southernmost Anglican Cathedral. Services are held on a regular weekly basis but there are also special services throughout the year. These special services commemorate June 14, 1982, the day of Liberation during the Falklands War, and November 11, 1918, for Armistice Day.
There are handmade needlepoint kneelers that were donated to the cathedral by the Ladies Auxiliary on the island. Beautiful stained glass windows cast a spectrum of colors.
THE WHALEBONE ARCH:
Across from the cathedral is the magnificent WhaleBone Arch. It was built in 1933 and is made from the jawbones of two blue whales to commemorate the 100 years of British rule. Over the years, it has been renovated to restore color and weather damage.
FRIENDS FOR GNOME BOY!:
Before disembarking the ship for the day, a fellow passenger who had come to seek out Gnome Boy and his daily adventures found that there was a “Gnome Museum” at Port Stanley. WHAT? Yes, a gnome museum! This was the Coup De Gras of the Day! Of course, we went in search of it. How could we not? It wasn’t a museum but more like a yard for wayward gnomes but still in all, it was fantastic! After careful thought, I knocked on the house door, pulled Gnome Boy out of my backpack, and asked the owner if they would please adopt him. They agreed and gave him a spot, front, and center from their newfound friends from the United States!
That wraps up my time spent in Port Stanley. It was a great day! I’m told that the weather there is often rainy, windy, and chilly. But, we had an awesome sunny day. It was a bit breezy and a light jacket was enough, which made it a glorious day- a reprieve from the downright cold and windy weather from the days prior!
Until next time, friends, remember: “To Travel is to Live!”