Thursday Door – Solvang
Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Dan Antion at No Facility invites us to join in by creating a Thursday Doors post and then sharing the link in his blog anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).
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I made a reservation to Banff, Canada in August 2021 for our anniversary. Canada extended the border closing several times. By April, I didn’t want to wait any longer. I canceled the booking and made a reservation to go to Santa Barbara, which is 120 miles from home. While in Santa Barbara, we took a half-day trip to Solvang, which is 33 miles north of Santa Barbara. The last time we visited Solvang was about 20 years ago. I went back with great expectations.
Here is a brief history of Solvang.
Solvang, “The Danish Capital of America” is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Solvang’s origins date back to 1804 when Mission Santa Inés was founded by the Spanish under Esteban Tápis.
In 1911, adventurous Danish-Americans traversed the plains from Iowa to the golden state of California. They purchased 9,000 acres of the former Rancho San Carlos de Jonata and situated their new community next to the historic Old Mission Santa Inés during the Mexican period.
It was not until 1946, after World War II, that promoters of the idea of a “Danish Village” could finally move ahead with plans to redesign the existing facade of the town and to mandate this style for new construction.
To establish a Danish community far from Midwestern winters, they took on its distinctive Danish-themed architecture beginning in 1947 and has since become a prominent tourist destination. Solvang was incorporated as a city on May 1, 1985.
Though only about 10% of residents in the 21st century are Danish, the town attracts many tourists from the Nordic countries and has been the subject of several Danish royal visits, most recently by Prince Henrik in 2011.
I had planned several places to visit and things to do in Solvang.
1. Windmills. There are five of them. We got the map from the tourist center. The map shows the locations of the windmills. We visited all but didn’t take photos of all of them.
2. Danish pastries and sweets. The last time we went to Solvang was about 20 years ago. I loved the pastries. Yet this time, the pastries were not appealing to us anymore. They looked too sweet, and we cut down at least 70% carb intake since the last visit.
3. Shopping. I stopped any travel collection for many years. We only went in and out of the souvenir shops but bought nothing.
4. Wine tasting. I was going to take a wine tour but didn’t have enough time. Also, we would not spend money on purchasing wine. There was wine sampling in many locations downtown. They all open at 12:00 noon. We passed by one, but we didn’t go back (no photos).
5. Candle manufacture. I remember visiting the candle manufacture. I watched them making candles by dipping into the different colors of wax, then carved the soft wax into beautiful patterns. I found two addresses, but they were closed permanently (no photos).
6. Cuckoo clock shop. I always dream of getting a cuckoo clock or Grandfather clock. I know it will never happen because my husband doesn’t even like to hear the chime under our eaves. Besides, some of them cost thousands of dollars. I still wanted to visit. We found one. I took a video, but the owner stopped me in 15 seconds. There were many items from artists placed there on consignment. They have copyrights.
I enjoyed the colorful Danish architecture. All the buildings have unique styles of doors. It was an enjoyable half-day trip.
I hope you enjoyed the highlights of Solvang and the colorful doors!
Have a Wonderful Weekend!