Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Trip to Solvang, California

When one thinks of California the first thing that comes to mind is Los Angeles, Hollywood. California is progressive, liberal. Next, San Franscisco might come to mind, the Golden Gate Bridge and wine country - Napa Valley. San Diego might also pop up.

Aside from the major metro areas, there is a lot of rural land in California. Solvang, California is about 1 hour north of Santa Barbara on US Route 101 and it's truly a treasure in the middle of California's rural beauty.
(Picture is my son, Andrew by a wooden shoe
in downtown Solvang.)

Heck, just last week I went camping up in the Solvang area. The weather was mild, the sun was out and the land was green. I couldn't ask for more. Solvang isn't far from the Santa Ynez wine country either. The wine from this area is comparable to Napa Valley wines. There are several wineries in Los Olivios, our favorite being Alexander & Wayne. The merlot from them is great. Heck, wine pimp that I am, I was heaven trolling the wineries in the area.

So what's the allure about Solvang?

It's Danish themed. The downtown area is full of buildings that will make you feel like you've escaped to Denmark.

There are windmills and wooden shoes (which are more reminicent of the Dutch in the Netherlands) , but for the most part, the town captures a quaint ambience and gives the visitor a little taste of Denmark.

Here's the opening blurb from Solvang's Website:

The gentle rolling hills, windmills, quiet streets, horse drawn carriages, family bicycles, golf courses, horse ranches, wineries, Danish bakeries, authentic Danish costumes worn by some shop keepers, Danish smorgaasbord restaurants, museums of racing and Solvang history, in the Danish atmosphere and architecture are waiting for you.

Sounds about right. The Danish bakeries rock by the way. Nice and fluffy little pastries. Totally yum.

I really don't have any cool stories about going to Solvang. I went for my birthday last week. I go, walk around, enjoy the ambience, and troll the stores looking for posters on Denmark. If anything, Solvang reminds me of Denmark and I have fond memories of Denmark.

I do! I was married in Denmark. Nov 14th, 1991 in Nykobig, Denmark I got married. Denmark is the "Vegas" of Europe (if you want to get married.) 4 days in Denmark and a JP can marry you. My marriage certificate is in 5 different languages.

For my honeymoon I visited Copenhagen and the original Legoland. The Danes were cool people, laid back, relax and most had a good command of English.

If you're planning a trip to Europe, Denmark is cool place to go.

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