Volksmarch column, March 31
The weather is warming up and flowers are blooming, so that means it’s time to hit the trails. We had a nice carnival season break, completing five walks during the holiday. Our favorite was in Margraten, Netherlands, on March 13. It was the annual Lammertocht, or Walk of the Lambs.
The first control point was at a farm with two barns full of sheep and their baby lambs. The babies were very active, while the moms were more sedentary. There were several times when the lambs actually climbed up on the backs of the resting moms. The stalls were full and the chorus of both high- and low-pitched “baaas” was pretty funny. It was a good morning for walking, and we really enjoyed this event.
• Sunday’s volksmarch in Jettingen, Germany, has been designated as a Stammtisch walk by the Stuttgart club. Look for its blue flag at the start hall. This year, organizers are offering B-medals, so maybe you can pick up one of last year’s stuffed lion dolls. Starting time for the six-, 10- and 20-kilometer trails is 6:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Closing time is 5 p.m.
• Sunday, Tongeren, Belgium, will host its Ambiorixtocht. This walk is named after the Germanic tribal leader whose warriors annihilated a Roman Legion in 54 B.C. A huge statue of Ambiorix stands in the Tongeren town square across from the church. The reason we like Tongeren is its Sunday-morning flea market. As the weather warms, the number of vendors increases. Get there early for the best selection and don’t be afraid to haggle. We feel that a volksmarch and a flea market is a tough combo to beat!
• If we get an early enough start in Tongeren, we’ll try to get back in time to walk one of our favorite routes in Schinveld, Netherlands. We always enjoy going by the glider field and watching the catapult launches and landings. We like seeing our Scottish Highland cow “friends,” too.
• This weekend, the walk in Bellaire, Belgium, will be convenient for those in the tri-border area. If you walk there Saturday morning, you could then drive the short distance to Petit-Rechain for its afternoon walk. Don’t be surprised by the hills in the area.
• Down in Italy, Clark Soeldner tells us that the walk in Santa Croce Bigolina is usually along the Brenta River. After the walk he recommends a visit to the nearby walled city of Cittadella.
• Speaking of Clark, over the years, we have often mentioned that we like the walk prizes in Italy because they are often food related. We have jokingly mentioned how, if you planned your walks carefully, you might be able to skip a trip to the commissary. We recently received an email from him regarding a “foodie weekend.”
Clark wrote, “I had to laugh when I got home today, thinking about your comments on the food awards in Italy. Yesterday morning was the walk in Illasi and the award was a bag with two brioches, two types of yogurt, and a small bag of fresh tortellini (that looks really good). In the afternoon was the Giustalla walk, with an award of a kilogram bag of spaghetti and a can of chopped tomatoes. The final restoro had some sort of pastry that they were assembly-line cooking and people were nearly fighting over. For good reason — it was really tasty!
“Today was the walk in San Foca and the award was a bottle of wine. At this walk, the final restoro had cheese, bread, hard-boiled eggs, mortadella, wine and more. All told, that was 43 kilometers of walking and enough food to last a while.”
Thanks, Clark, for the report! We look forward to our trip to Aviano and Venice in a couple of weeks. Find us a walk with a good food award to attend while we are there!
• Thanks to the following people, for without the fliers they submit, you would not have as many choices for walks. This week’s contributors are:William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; 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.
Email volksmarch information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.