The Falkland Islands
There is nowhere else in the world like the Falkland Islands. The archipelago is a remote, wind-swept place of stunning landscapes, dazzling white sand beaches, magnificent wildlife, and a rather gregarious mix of people. Over 200 islands surround the two main islands of West and East Falkland. These isolated and treeless shores are home to an overwhelming abundance of birdlife: albatross, penguins, caracaras, geese, and many others. Perhaps it was the very remoteness of the islands; the allure of its barren landscapes, pure in their austerity and colorful in their details, and the immensely large open skies that attracted settlers to its shores long ago.
It has accumulated a wealth of maritime and military history. More than three hundred shipwrecks litter its shores, while the stark white crosses of both British and Argentine soldiers stand as a silent reminder to the war of 1982. Numerous claims for the islands have been put forward in the course of their history. Nowadays the Falkland Islands are a self-governing British Overseas Territory.
Stanley, Falkland Islands
The lonely lighthouse at Cape Pembroke welcomes arrivals to Stanley. It alerts ships to the treacherous rocks, reefs and shoals for which the Falkland Islands have long been known. With a population of over 2,000 people, Stanley is the largest settlement on the islands. Its gardens, tea rooms, brightly colored houses and hotels lend it a slightly Victorian feel, seemingly suspended in time. The Anglican Cathedral, the southernmost in the world, stands prominently on Stanley’s waterfront.
The Falklands’ unique abundance of wildlife is evident in Stanley. Dolphins visit its harbor, while steamer ducks, kelp gulls, and other birds abound on shore. Southern sea lions can be spotted basking in the sun. Southern giant petrels often fly through town, oblivious to the human presence. Founded in the 1840s, the town was named after Edward Smith-Stanley, Earl of Derby, who never visited the islands.