In the form of a typical London double-decker bus, it is hidden a time machine to travel back to Ushuaia human past.
Since 2000, not without surprise, Ushuaia's neighbors have been driving on the streets of the world's southernmost town an extravagant double-decker bus, painted gray, green and blue, and full of classic images of our historical-cultural heritage.
This is a new tourism project, carried out by the people of Patagonia Double Deckers with the support of End of the World Museum, an institution from its door depart and finish the routes out of the new bus. The "Ushuaia Double Decker" (it is not its official name, but it could be) offers its service on a regular day, every two hours, and also performs a night circuit (the "Tour of Lights") by the ring uptown. Professional guides attend to the passengers, telling in several languages the human history of the place, while the "double-floor" go through the streets ushuaienses richer in the past.
Certainly it would go unnoticed in London, where it is the traditional public transport of passengers, but not here. In Ushuaia, the high bus that not long ago go through the city on a history tour call the attention of all the neighbors, as it could confirm this reporter from his first test ride, made for older people and people of the press.
This "double-floor" (double decker, known as Anglophones) does no longer carries the conventional red color of Londoners, but it is no less attractive. Unlike portraits, figures and scenes of local history are painted on its exterior walls, along with educational text in a very pleasing combination.
There has been absolutely nothing from the original red, now it is dominated by blue, green and gray on top, that is much like the sky fueguino. And harmoniously integrated with the landscape that has to go through, the bus of "people's history" has its terminal station at the door of the End of the World Museum.
Luis Vuoto is the owner of the company that landed this innovation in the capital of the end of the world, that not only will stay to stroll visitors during the summer season, but it will continue in the year, winter included, offering tours to school groups. Moreover, the rates for residents of Ushuaia are always preferred. "Our idea is to insert this project in the city," he said. "We want it to become a part of Ushuaia".
In that sense, Vuoto considered valuable input from the bus to overturn something that could be called "un-love of one's place", something not unique to Tierra del Fuego and that, in general, is repeated in other parts of the country of high immigration recently, especially in Patagonia: new residents know little about the place they inhabit.
The bus was chosen because it "has a good height, more than the traditional two-floor, and its gateway and corridors are very wide," said the head of Patagonia Double Deckers.
The exterior and interior artwork is very well kept, and it was done with advice from the people of the End of the World Museum.
"We wanted the bus to look good. But above all, we want that the absolute highlight was the story that it counts."
Vuoto noted with gratitude the guidance they had received throughout the creative process from Oscar Zanola, director of the Museum, and Julio Lovece, municipal secretary of Tourism.
Inside, two floors of the bus continue this line graph, although much more discreetly.
We think that an interior photo gallery (located above the windows) would serve to illustrate the passenger."
Thus, in the floor below, are shown images that refer to the indigenous population and the beginnings of European exploration in the area, with Hernando de Magellanes to the head.
Upstairs, meanwhile, includes prints, photographs and portraits for the settlement that occurred since the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries.
Every two hours day service and ... night
Among the program runs, Luis Vuoto highlights the night service "Tour of Lights" in which passengers can see the city at night, from above, with the reflections of the city lights twinkling in the waters of the bay. And with the snow on the mountains shining fluorescent at the moon's light. "This is a circuit that, while guiding, is a contemplation of the landscape over night." The path includes a bypass of the upper part of Ushuaia.
As for day tours, there is one regular and one optional. As Vuoto detailed the first one, which he calls "classical", parts from the End of the World Museum by Maipú, goes to La Misión district to return then to the Antigua Casa Beban (along the waterfront Maipú) and then runs San Martín street (the principal) in all its length, taking Yaganes and returning to the Museum by Maipú.
The "optional" version perhaps is longer and is done only by request. However, the important thing to note is that from an operational standpoint is that
"We must not wait for the bus is completed, or the attainment of a minimum of passengers to exit, but it has a service every two hours",
as Vuoto said.
"In other words, is a regular service that can take anyone, even those who are walking on foot through the city." Responsible for Patagonia Double Deckers hoped to get more sponsors to make it possible to maintain this frequency during the winter.
Permanently, on board the gray bus there are guides that are able to answer questions about the history of Tierra del Fuego and ushuaienses, and they do it in many different languages. "The guides Hugo Podbersich and Monica Legnini tell this exciting story, but not in a cold, chronologically way. Because we want to give to the past and the present of this place an essentially human focus", remarked Luis Vuoto with enthusiasm.