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It’s Ascension Day, a holiday in many parts of Europe. That means a lot of walks are on the calendar. For example, the walk today in Kallmünz, Germany, appears to be convenient for walkers in the Hohenfels area. Start its five- and 10-kilometer trails between 6 an 11 a.m. This walk is for IVV credit only.

• In the Eifel area, there is an event south of Bitburg in Niederweis. Starting from the Nimstalhalle, you can walk five- or 10-kilometer routes between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you want to go 20k, start before 1 p.m.

• For readers in the Stuttgart area, Thursday’s walk in Michelbach is a Stammtisch event for the Stuttgart club. Look for its blue flag in the start hall and try to meet some of these dedicated walkers.

• Another good walk today is in St. Geertruid, Netherlands. This walk usually goes close to the American cemetery at Margraten. This is a very popular walk through the beautiful countryside. A trip to the cemetery is a must after the walk.

• The hot volksmarch this weekend will be hosted by the Teufelskopf-Wanderers of Reichweiler, Germany, who extend a warm invitation to all American volksmarchers, especially the folks from nearby Baumholder.

The start hall this year is the Dorfgemeinschaftshaus. The prize is a beautiful beer mug with the crest of Nordrhein-Westfalen. The club also has limited quantities of mugs from earlier walks with the crests of Hessen, Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland.

You can start the five- and 10-kilometer walks between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. If you would rather walk 20 kilometers, you can start between 6 a.m. and noon both days.

• For another beer mug prize, you might try your luck this weekend at the Rohrbach event. Organizers are offering B-medal beer mugs, so quantities are limited.

• Sunday’s event in Wellen, Belgium, is the annual “strawberry walk.” We purchased some excellent strawberries recently at the Petit-Rechain, Belgium, walk. Asparagus season is in full swing, so be on the lookout for fresh asparagus as well.

• With the weather getting warmer, don’t forget the importance of keeping well-hydrated on your walks. Pack your own water and don’t wait until you feel thirsty to take a drink. Take money with you for bottled drinks. And don’t forget, your four-legged walking pal needs a drink, too; he’s doing that walk wearing a fur coat!

Some clubs have free water or tea if you bring your own cup. This also reduces the amount of trash generated by the walkers and we all need to be environmentally friendly.

As a general rule, control points are about five kilometers apart, but this is entirely at the discretion of the host club, so they might be farther apart. Sometimes the short routes do not have a control point at all. Don’t get caught short.

• According to the after-action reports we have been receiving, this spring has had some excellent volksmarches.

The Kiddie Volksmarch at Patrick Henry Village was another success for the Heidelberg International Wandering Club. Again this year, organizers had more than 200 children participate. Way to go, HIWC, for a job well done.

Sue Capp from HIWC tells us that the club’s bus trip to Völkershausen was also very nice. The traditional HIWC champagne breakfast on the bus was the first order of business. Their first stop was to visit the Rhöner brewery, where they enjoyed the Rhöner beer and a buffet lunch. Then they continued to Meiningen, where they stayed for the night. In Meiningen they were able to shop in the old town and see many of the local attractions before dinner.

The next morning, after a filling breakfast at their hotel, they were on their way to Völkershausen for the volksmarch. They were treated to blue skies, a few clouds and comfortable temperatures.

The first part of the trail was a steady uphill climb, but soon they were getting some gorgeous off-in-the-distance views with many good photo opportunities.

Back at the start hall, they enjoyed more Rhöner beer before returning to Heidelberg. On the way back, they made a stop at an old East German border guard tower. It was run down and they were not able to go inside, but it was still a nice piece of history to experience.

Thanks, Sue, for the feedback. It sounds like the HIWC continues its tradition of hosting some tremendous bus trips. Keep up the good work. There will be more after-action reports in next week’s column.

• Thanks to the following for their contributions to the column: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Michael and Michelle Connor; Cath and Rob Floyd; Bob Gambert; Richard and Donna Glenn; Wayne Henry; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; John, Mary and Tess Laub; Tim and Luchi Lynch; “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson; and Rick and Wanda Sciascia.

E-mail volksmarch information to two.walkers@yahoo.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.

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