Grytviken, South Georgia

The tiny community of Grytviken nestles at the foot of the towering, rocky spine of South Georgia Island. Traffic in the town consists mainly of penguins and sea lions. Originally a whaling camp, it proved to be the salvation of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, after his ship Endurance was crushed and sunk by ice in 1915. Leaving most f his crew marooned on Elephant Island. Shackleton and five of his crew made an 800-mile trip to South Georgia in a small boat. Crossing the mountain range on the island, he summoned assistance from the whalers at Stromness near Grytviken, and his crew were saved. His gravesite is one of the main landmarks of the town. There is a small museum that offers information in the long history of whaling on South Georgia, and visitors can purchase postcards and stamps to send letters home if they wish. This is one of the least-visited places on earth.