Sunday, July 13, 2008

A viking in clogs?

We are just entering the pretty little town of Solvang. Our tour leader Tash hints at Dutch ancestry but the distinctive red flag adorned with white crosses hanging across the streets make me suspicious that it may be a tad more Danish than Dutch. And then we turn a corner a there’s a huge windmill and I’m officially confused. On my quest for the obligatory fridge magnet I am fascinated by the smorgasbord of goods in the shops. There are Tash’s favourite Danish pastries at every turn, rather lurid clogs, delicate lace, Delft pottery and fabulous Georg Jensen silver. The main square in Hans Christian Andersen and the main road - Copenhagen Drive and apparently they have their own Little Mermaid , I think we're officially in little Denmark.
M and I don’t feel the need to sample the Danish pastry delights as we are so fabulously fed on the train and also we are due a late lunch at a vineyard. But many of our fellow train-travellers have found a spot to accommodate some traditional pastries. This little Scandinavian enclave, definitely with a touch of Dutch whimsy, is an attractive place. We don’t have too much time to explore unfortunately as the desire for someone who could make an emergency repair to sunglasses is rather urgent but at least I get to browse some sparkly stuff and I’ve already bagged a suitable blue and white china windmill shaped fridge magnet for the collection.
On returning I do a little further research to see if I can clear up the Danish/Dutch question. I learn that Solvang was established by
Danish immigrants in 1911 and means ‘sunny field’ in Danish. I can find no mention of any Dutch influence so the clogs will just have to remain a mystery. But I do discover that this quaint town and the Santa Ynez valley was the backdrop for the Oscar winning wine soaked road-trip movie Sideways.
As we bade “adjø” to Solvang we are loaded on a small nimble coach to ascend the winding roads up into the mountains for our next adventure. It is lush country dotted with lakes and greenery.

No comments: