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Monday, January 01, 2007

Mission at Santa Ynez

Continuing on the series of photo blogs on the Solvang trip...

Santa Ynez is right outside Solvang (you exit Solvang, enter Santa Ynez). The highlight of course is a Mission that is 200 years old! (not a big deal by Indian standards where old means 1000+ years!), but definitely historic considering how young the US of A is!

This mission has a museum of sorts which show earliest pictures (from 1800's and early 1900's), the clothes worn by the early clergy and a beautiful garden, not to mention the actual church itself or the 200+ year old paintings..

The corridor reminded me of Rameshwaram (a place I am yet to visit! and have seen only in pictures..) Extremely peaceful place..

There were actually two shrines, the big one where everyone worships and this little one which had only two chairs in front of it (maybe this was the original shrine?). Did not get a chance to ask anyone because they were closing pretty soon (we were there Christmas eve!). I am not a big church goer (maybe this is like having a Moolavar and Utsavar type thing in Indian temples ?)

Here is the main shrine. I actually had plans to sit there for a few minutes on the seats and soak in the atmosphere.. but they were vacuuming the carpet and that plan went nowhere..I could still visualize the place and the awe it would create when it was silent!

Now for the paintings, which are on an average 200 years old.. Flash photography was not allowed inside, so please bear with the quality of the images (this is the best I could get with 15 second exposures with F8.0)

Another large painting

There were lots of smaller paintings which were equally amazing, but you have go see them on the walls for yourself..

Then we visited the garden and courtyard, which apparently was the site of the very first educational instituion in California!!

The garden reminded me of Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicheri.. Very quiet in spite of lots of people milling around. For me, a person who is noisy by nature, More people always means more noise. The only deviations from this linearity are,

1. few people making too much noise (which does not surprise me anymore after seeing my two kids)
2. lots of people making no noise (that always puts me ill at ease at first and then suddenly slows my internal clock down. It is as though I start to move in slow motion). I experienced that in this garden..

On the whole a Christmas eve well spent!

That leaves Morro bay and Limekiln State park.. Considering I am going to be very very busy at work starting tonight, I will at least have those photo blogs ready before tonight and post them over the next week..

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