Out and About in Solvang: Mission Santa Ines

Yesterday you got to see the Danish side of Solvang. But what about the Spanish side? Well look no further than…well a couple of feet next to the main strip of the town. Before the Danes came to take over the Spanish had a strong foothold in the West and a lot of Missions/churches were formed. Mission Santa Ines was founded in 1804 and apart from some wear from natural causes & some Native American raids (Remember, the Chumash had dibs on this area first for being, you know, actually the first living in the area.) the Mission is still intact.

Originally I was going to put this along with the first Solvang article but because this is so vastly different from the Danish town I felt the need to make it separate. So, whether you are of the faith or not, I hope you enjoy some of the highlights from Mission Santa Ines:

IMG_3157Feels like I’m in California again! Wait, I was ALWAYS in California…

IMG_3160Honestly, the movies got Missions done perfectly cause when I think of ‘Missions’ this looks like a typical movie set.

IMG_3159A panoramic of what the church sees when you face in front of it. Simply gorgeous. You would never know a Danish community it literally right behind you.

IMG_3161Before I went in there was a garden that had 14 crosses showing the tale of Jesus being crucified. Honestly I don’t quite get why this has to be out here. Not to get on a soapbox but when I think of gorgeous vistas and Jesus in general I don’t think of paintings of him suffering PLUS artistic crosses with red paint of where he was nailed. A nice example of how you are showing violence in religion when that isn’t the point of the story.

IMG_3162Inside the Mission there is a mini-museum which, being the museum guy, I had to check out. First out is Jesus on a pretty sweet boat!

IMG_3163Now some gardening tools and weapons for the workers!

IMG_3164How about some colorful vests?

IMG_3165Or the Virgin Mary?

IMG_3166That is a pretty display.

IMG_3167Also, some refreshments.

IMG_3168Now for the church itself. This is looks like a beautiful chapel by the image itself. But let me tell you: The ambiance and overall look of the place is remarkable. I may not be a religious man but even I can admit I would go to church more often if they start looking like this.

IMG_3169See? That is absolutely beautiful.

IMG_3170Although I must admit things look a little creepy when you are looking in reverse. Not sure why.

IMG_3171The garden! A pretty sweet looking area.

IMG_3172Certainly looks nicer than any church I’ve ever been too in the Philly/Jersey area.

IMG_3173I take it this is a praying area?

IMG_3174And a graveyard! Some modern tombstones but for the most part they are all from the various priests, nuns, and workers who have been in this area since the beginning.

IMG_3175The garden also shows to remind you that you’re a literally a fence hop away to Denmark.

And that is Solvang! A fantastic town that has a wonderful balance of everything I’ve loved about California since moving here. It is unique, highly entertaining, and overall a beautiful place to walk around. I will certainly find myself back here in the near future (especially when I find myself in the valley of having a girlfriend and/or wife). Another reminder why I should is the gorgeous visuals you see traveling back and forth in general. For example, a view from the Pacific Coast Highway:

IMG_3193

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