To take nothing but photographs, and leave nothing but footprints.
California Roadtrip 2015: Postcards from Solvang
On a tour of mission churches in California, we stopped to eat and shop at a tiny village called Solvang (Danish for 'sunny field'). It is a beautiful little city nestled in
the Santa Ynez Valley of California. We went back the following day to explore the city. The village retains its authentic Danish look with horse drawn wagons,
windmills, Danish and Northern European style architecture and Hans Christian Andersen Park, Danish pastry shops and bakeries, and quaint shops. Okay, I was disappointed with the food and the pastries, but I enjoyed photographing this beautiful town. And of course, nature added to the fairy-tale look and feel of the village.
I was walking the Balsam Hollow trail when deep in the forest, I heard bird songs in concert with the sound of rushing waters. I stopped at the tiny bridge to listen to the sound of the rushing waters and admire the streak of sunlight reflected on the water under the giant trees when a girl with long red hair and wearing a dull-grayish puff sleeve dress with a cream-colored apron came skipping through the trees. She was holding a wicker basket covered with an embroidered cloth. “I’m off to the Lake of Shining Waters,” she said. “Wait, Anne, wait,” I shouted after her, “Can I come with you.”
Ok, that was a stretch. The Anne part didn’t really happen. But where I was standing it could easily have happened. I imagined my favorite character in the book, “Anne of Green Gables” describing to me in flowery words the places and things I was seeing. With her passion for beautiful places, she would have been a great tour guide. Ever since I read the book (ok I read it more than a couple of time…
Having been to the beautiful places compared to Cape Bretton by the great Alexander Graham Bell, I had no choice but to see for myself the views that inspired him to say,
“I have travelled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes and the Alps, and the Highlands of Scotland but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all."
After a brief introduction to Sydney, the largest city on Cape Breton Island, we followed the Trans-Canada Highway and headed to the most famous part of the drive - the Cabot Trail - to the picturesque towns of Baddeck and Ingonish. There was some amazing scenery including the incredible views of Boulanderie Island, the Seal Island Bridge, and the Great Bras d’Or Channel, St. Ann’s Bay and Kelly’s Mountain. We stopped at a few lookouts to take photos and to take in the amazing views.
Upon seeing the Cabot Trail “Welcome” sign, I told our guide that I wanted to take a few short hikes at Cabot Trail just so I could add it t…
The tiny town of Skagway is a very popular port of call for cruise ships. Its main draw is its historical district of about 100 buildings from the gold rush era and the White Pass and Yukon Route that runs its narrow-gauge train during the summer months, mainly for tourists.
Instead of taking the most popular White Pass Train Ride, we opted for the bus tour to the White Pass and Yukon territory because I thought it would provide lots of opportunities for pictures. We drove through the Klondike Highway, which paralleled much of the Gold Rush Trail of 1898. We saw an amazing panorama of mountains, glaciers, gorges, famous waterfalls like the Pitchfork Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and many other smaller waterfalls, historical places like the Moore Creek Bridge, and views of the White Pass & Yukon Railroad along the route.
Our driver/guide did a great job of retelling the history of the Gold Rush, how stampeders or prospectors struggled to climb the trail carrying tons of goods …