Sunday, 14 October 2012

Missions, strudels and sun strolling in Santa Barbara

After days of barely being able to leave the van - I was overjoyed to feel a little bit better and get out and enjoy the sunshine! Before we reached Santa Barbara we visited La Purisima Mission and the weird little slice of Dutch-land in California, Solvang.

The mission was established in 1787 and was home to Chumash people and Spanish settlers. The have recreated what life would have been like here in the 1820's where the residents hearded 24,000 cattle and sheep. They also did weaving, leatherwork, blacksmithing, pottery etc. Had an eery sense but at the same time very peaceful.

Entry to the graveyard.
The main building where the most experienced workmen.
Veggie patch
Beautiful village squares with a number of different fountains.
What the villagers would have lived in.
Then it was off to Solvang, the very kitsch little Danish town where every third store is a bakery!

Blizzare right? Anyway we keep trucking to Santa Barbara - known as the American Riveria. Beautiful steep mountains in the background and palm trees everywhere. Weather a balmy 30c with the sun shining. We had a lovely two days here walking along the beachfront, having happy hour with some locals, shopping and checking out Monticeto neighbourhood (this is where Oprah has her big Californian house).

Strolling the main street of Santa Barbara. Beautiful Spanish architecture.
Little arcades off the main street.
Along the strip we found a Halloween store, which I have noticed are popping up all over the place. Nearly bought some terrible PVC cowgirl outfit. Thank god I came to my senses - what was I thinking!

Time for the happy happy hour where we ate and drank like kings for $30 and meet some passionate locals who shared the fire circle and stories with us.

Look at this creation I found in the way home.
Second day in SB was all about strolling in all that sunshine.

Tomorrow we head to Malibu and Santa Monica. The sunshine continues.

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