Thursday, February 11, 2010

Solvang California

Wednesday we moved our home north. We took the coastal highway 101 winding our way among the foothills of Southern California and through the city of Santa Barbara. Suffice it for me to say it was a beautiful drive, not only with the green beauty of the hills, but also with vistas of the ocean. Along the way we saw orchards of citrus fruit and big fields of strawberries. I am thrilled with the rv resort which is presently our home because from our windows we have a great view of the Santa Ynez mountains. Above I have posted a picture of that view. It is a nice break from the big city. Today we drove into the town of Solvang. This town has one of the last missions founded by the Spanish, Santa Ines in 1804. A picture of the mission is posted below.
We spent most of our day seeing the sights of Solvang. It is a very charming town with a European feel to it. It was settled by Danish immigrants who moved from Iowa at the turn of the 20th century. They were determined to keep the art and culture from their homeland, and that influence can still be seen today in Solvang. Consequently the town is very much into honoring Hans Christian Andersen. We found his statue in one of the city parks- that same bust of him can also be found in his museum located in a book store in the town.
Also in the town is a statue of the little mermaid, a character in one of his stories.
There were two little interesting  facts which I picked up regarding Andersen while touring the museum. The first was that in the 1840s he met the singer Jenny Lind and courted her. Unfortunately she viewed him only like a brother. It was his third unrequited love so he ended up a lonely man. Second, in Denmark, papirklip is the folk art of cutting paper pictures. Andersen was skilled in doing it, so was considered not only to be a writer but also an artist. I enjoyed touring the little museum dedicated to him and his work. Reading about how he came to write many of his stories made me want to read his work again so I purchased a small book of some of his writings.

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