Stepping into this small village hidden in the Santa Ynez Valley, I felt like I am in Europe. This is the Danish Village known as Solvang.
On the way to Solvang, I saw the sign said this place was classified as Chumash Reserve. Apparently, Chumash (the original Red Indian tribe) has been inhabiting this valley back on 10,000 years ago. Spanish missionaries came around 1804 and established 21 missions in California (Santa Barbara was one of them). The Danish-American Colony later bought these lands in 1911 and that was the origin of Solvang.
I have been to the fake French Village theme park in Malaysia, and never been to a Danish town in North America. The visit to Solvang was worth it (actually it is nearby highway 101 from Los Angeles to San Francisco).
One can notice the windmills, roof tiles, and many more characteristics of Danish architecture.
The first impression was the smell of cinnamon and coffee from the bakery stores. The picture below as pastry with apple in side, and the candy worm crawling on it.
The second impression was the garden liked village. Almost every houses and shops have flowers and plants.
Every way I turn, there will be blooming flowers, even infront of the public toilet.
The flora makes a walk on the street a pleasant experience.
The flowers were like the promoter for the merchant, and stopping visitor to pay extra attention to every shop.
The third impression was the architure and decoration. Besides being Danish, the sign boards were very interesting to admire.
Solvang gotten the Califonia City status back in 1985, and the city with merely 5,000 residents was awarded Preserve America Community award in 2009. No wonder the proud mother of these 2 kids told me, “where else could be a better place to raise my kids than this peaceful town?”. She was probably right.