More on Solvang AKA Sunny Meadow AKA Plastic Denmark

I love traveling around the country and the world. It is not really traveling for traveling sake. I’m in different cities working at different events. So, I don’t have all day to see the cities and get a full cultural view. Visiting new places and meeting new people learning about their culture is very fun. In the US as much as in other countries. Yes, even in the US because it is so big. One can see different cultures, ways of life, accents etc.
Here is another description of Solvang from my friend Rene W. I have also learned the American name for this city. Solvang means Sunny Meadow.
>>>When I first came to the US in 1983 our host took us everywhere, showed us everything and were just really nice about taking us around. I was here (in the US) with a friend of mine, Stig Larsen. Stig had family in Fresno, CA and hence we were headed there. We stayed for three weeks and in the meantime had got in contact with other people/places to stay. One of these contact were an old Dane in Los Angeles called John Jensen. He was President of the Montrose Cycle Club and we got rolled in to race for them.
On a trip to Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo for the Santa Barbara Grand Prix our new Americans friends NEEDED to show us a Danish town smack here in the middle of California. We were naturally skeptical and it needs to be told that when we, weeks earlier had first arrived to Los Angeles, been housed and gone to a party with the son of the house. We had been presented for a dose of reality sense — or maybe it was just HER! Our friend had introduced us to a woman at the party. “This is Stig and Ren? – they are from Denmark!” “Wow” the lady expressed — “is that not somewhere in Ohio?” Stig and I looked at each other and both said “YUP” and knew then that beauty is not everything!
Anyway – back to our trip to the Danish town in California… It was sort of exciting to roll in to Solvang the first time, but we had learned not to expect too much after our party experience. Stig and I quickly agreed that we had a better name for Solvang. At least a name more descriptive. We named it Plastic Denmark and have ever since called it that.
As you know I have since been there numerous times mainly on training camp with the Saturn team and it is fun to be there, but it has very little to do with how Denmark looks and is — and then…. In some basic research I have done I have found out that Solvang is build and based on a little Danish town called Aeroeskoebing. It is a complete tourist trap on a small island south of, about four hours drive and a ferry ride from Copenhagen. The island itself is overrun in the summer by tourist mainly from Germany. It has nice beaches and little cottages, houses and motels/hotels like in Solvang. I have never been there personally, so I could not verify, but as a very famous Dane, Hans Christian Andersen once said “It should be true”! In other words, Solvang is far from normal, everyday Denmark, but from a touristy point of view. It is probably not.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.