When Robert Falcon Scott arrived at the South Pole 100 years ago, he wrote in his diary: “Great God! This is an awful place.”
The desolate, flat expanse of white nothingness was not improved by the realization that Scott had been beaten to the spot by his rival.
Norway’s Roald Amundsen arrived on Dec. 14, 1911, a month ahead of Scott, who got there on Jan. 17.
Scott then died on his return trek.
The hordes of tourists — by South Pole standards — arriving this week at the same spot to mark the 100th anniversary of the race to the Pole will be met by a much different sight: the world’s southern-most gift shop.