I set out from Los Angeles somewhat less early than I would have wanted to. I had rented a car at the airport, and from there I drove north, making sure that I would hit Highway 1 as soon as possible to avoid the traffic on the freeway. It worked like a miracle – as soon as you’re off the freeway and start cruising down the four lane road out towards Malibu, the traffic clears almost completely. My first destination of the day was Solvang, a village built by Danish settlers a couple of hundred years back.

solvang california

After about a three hour drive, the first peculiar house came up. Most of the village, at least all the buildings immediately situated on the main street or right behind it, are built like in an 18th century European village.

solvang california

I thought it was absolutely adorable. The combination of cute European houses with the typical broad, tree lined American streets, mountains in the back ground and temperatures in the 90s (Fahrenheit) was unbeatable.

solvang california

solvang california

solvang california

solvang california

Danish corner in Olsen’s Bakery! A (slightly) dated picture of our Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik up there on the left.

solvang california

solvang california

solvang california

solvang california

solvang california

Real mountains..! You don’t get those in Denmark, that’s for sure.

solvang california

solvang california

I spent a very happy hour wandering around taking pictures and (almost) squealing with delight anytime I came upon something particularly Danish, like the Hans Christian Andersen statue:

solvang california

Or the restaurant called The Little Mermaid:

solvang california

Or, best of all, the Jule Hus (Christmas House)!

solvang california

I had lunch at Solvang Brewery, where I had a little chat with the couple at the next table – Danish passport was out when I ordered beer. They wanted to know if this was actually what Denmark was really like. Makes me a little proud to say that yes, we certainly do have places like these in Denmark. Except colder.

Check out the beer menu. So much Danish-ness! I tried the Valhalla IPA, but the Blue Eyed Blonde sure looked interesting too..

solvang california

After Solvang I drove on. Final destination of the day was a motel in San Simeon, another couple of hours down the road. The drive was pretty – but the beach at San Simeon at sunset, that was the other highlight (quite literally, actually) of the day.

san simeon california

I took so many photographs of the same little place that I can’t really decide which ones I like the best.. I hope you like sunset pictures.

san simeon california

san simeon california

san simeon california

san simeon california

san simeon california

san simeon california

san simeon california

I went to bed a very happy gal that night, blissfully unaware of the fog that would plague me for the rest of the trip..!

Have you been to Solvang? What did you think? Comment below.

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