The walk in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, on Feb. 23, was a great day for walking. Sure, it was cold and snowing, but it was just enough snow to make the old buildings, walls and roofs of the city even more beautiful. It was, however, just one day in a weekend filled with fun, friendship and walking.

The fun started Friday afternoon when we arrived in Rothenburg. Having been to Rothenburg numerous times, we wanted to focus on something new on this trip, so we visited the Reichsstadtmuseum. We were very impressed with the displays of armor, weapons, furniture, art and other items. One of the first things that you see after entering is a display of 82 golden coins, some of which date to 1678. This treasure was found in Rothenburg in 1998. We got there an hour and 15 minutes before closing, and that was not enough time to see everything.

After dinner at restaurant Hell, we thought we would take an evening walking tour of the city. We have done the Night Watchman’s tour several times, so this time we hoped to do the Executioner’s tour, but the tours don’t run in February, so I guess it will have to wait until next time.

Saturday morning we had a leisurely breakfast and were ready to start walking by 8:30. The Heidelberg International Wandering Club bus had arrived, and its club flag was in the front row of tables in the start hall. After we chatted with members for a while, it was time to hit the trail. We bundled up to keep warm and headed out into the snow. The six-kilometer trail took us around the outside perimeter of the city walls. After a quick stop at the control point, where we warmed up with peach schnapps, we were soon back out on the trail.

When we got back to the start hall, we noticed the maroon flag of the Ramstein Road Runners and the blue flag from the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club were flying proudly on tables next to the Heidelberg flag. This is the third year that the three big American clubs in Germany shared adjacent tables at a major event.

This was a great chance to chat with many friends and dedicated volksmarchers. It is always such a pleasure to see these folks and catch up on current events and swap walking stories. Ruth Cresson and Wayne Henry from Stuttgart, Brad and Lynne Crandall and Gene Behrends from Ramstein and Rob and Cath Floyd and Dave Miller from Heidelberg were just a few folks we spoke with. Ruth presented us with two certificates of participation from the Stuttgart club for helping promote their walks.

After lunch we met Tim and Luchi Lynch and headed out for the Old City walk. This trail was pretty much the same as the morning route, so we knew where we were going. When we got back to the start, we were pleasantly surprised when we were presented the Deutscher Volkssportverband Bronze award for promoting volksmarching. We’d like to thank the Floyds for recommending us for this award, and thank all the readers who support us. We’ll have these certificates framed and on the wall in no time.

Saturday night we had dinner with the Lynches at their hotel. The restaurant there is noted for its Spaetzel recipes and we really enjoyed the meal.

After another leisurely breakfast Sunday morning, we decided to stop by the town flea market on our way home. Bob found some old German postage stamps and beer coasters for his collection.

All told, it was a great weekend. Volksmarching with old and new friends, good food, touring a historic walled city, learning more about German history and culture, and of course the awards, made this a very special weekend for us. We can’t wait until next year!

Email volksmarch information to Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO AE 09752.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now