Day Two in the Wine Country: Slantways

  1. The marker-bell for Mission Santa Ines, founded 1804. In the town of Solvang.

  2. The bell tower of the Mission church, with the ever-present cactus.

  3. A statue of Fr. Junipero Serra, controversial missionary, in the courtyard of the Mission.

  4. The Mission is an acting church, and the people who belong to the cars are here for 9:30 Sunday mass. To the left of the bell tower is the entrance to the church - but it stretches back, not to the left. To the left is a long building hosting many other offices and rooms and so on.

  5. Solvang, the improbably Danish village in the middle of the baked central Californian coast. Settled by Danish settlers around 1811. Apparently they have an ordinance requiring building owners to paint cross-hatches on all buildings. There are 4,000 Danish bakeries in town.

  6. A rather cute restaurant, with coats of arms, and storks grafted to the roof.

  7. Tell me if I should stop now, with the quaint shots of Olde Denmarke. Note wrought-iron sign, Danish flag (red with white cross) and in the back - could it be arms of a windmill?

  8. Yes! A windmill! Someone clarify for me if the Danes use windmills or if that's the Dutch.

  9. The countryside is gorgeous, untamed, natural - it looks like wild California the way it looks all across the state (or as the Senate would say, "up and down.") Only 5 minutes outside of town, you're in pure country. Usually there was no one before me or after me on the road as I drove from small winery to small winery.

  10. The view you get when you clamber up a short but steep path in back of Zaca Mesa winery (recommended, both the scramble and the winery.)

  11. A huge and tall cactus in Los Olivos, a small town also known as the home of Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch. Note: there is no evidence of this, and I only know it from random internet searches on "Los Olivos" before I left, planning my trip. Los Olivos is full of art galleries and upscale cafes and restaurants and at least six wine-tasting storefronts.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: June 21, 2005