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The Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club will be busy this weekend. The club is having Stammtisch walks in Oberstenfeld and Langenbrand, Germany, on Saturday and Sunday. If you are at one of these events, please look for the club’s blue flag and go over and say “Hi.”

Don’t forget Saturday’s Kiddie Volksmarch at Patrick Henry Village. Start the five-kilometer trail from in front of the library between 9 a.m. and noon. If you have volunteered to help, we send you thanks in advance. If you have some time and want to help, I’m sure Rob Floyd will keep you busy. Contact him at hiwc@yahoo.com.

Tuesday is Queen’s Day in the Netherlands. This is the day of one of our favorite walks in Landgraff. However, this year the walk has been canceled. We think it is due to the ceremonies involved with the abdication of Queen Beatrix and the swearing in and investiture of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander. We have a feeling that the majority of Dutch citizens will either be in Amsterdam for the ceremonies or glued to the television for this historic event. Amsterdam will be packed, so we’ll join the television crowd.

The annual Ramstein spring walk will be held May 4-5. This is a very popular event that draws a lot of walkers. If you are unable to volunteer as a helper for the walk, you can still help by donating some baked goods for the club to sell at the start hall. Everyone loves the homemade goodies, but store-bought pastries are just as good. All donations will be graciously accepted and will help support this hard-working club. We send our thanks in advance for your donations.

Keukenhof after-action report: We drove to Lisse, Netherlands, Friday and meandered around the gardens. Our hotel happened to be the start hall for the next morning’s walk.

Saturday morning we met walking friends Pat and Terry in our hotel lobby and did the six-kilometer trail. Of course, we actually walked more than six kilometers because we walked all through the gardens at least twice — there was so much to see! We enjoyed the indoor displays the most because the cold weather had prevented most of the outside plants from blooming. In addition to the pavilions and outside exhibits, there were Dutch folklore performances here and there. Of course, we bought tulips back at the start hall to take home.

A real treat was meeting a couple from Baltimore, Md., at the start hall after the walk. They had emailed us a few months ago stating their vacation plans included a few days in Leiden before they caught a boat for a cruise. When they asked about IVV walks in the Netherlands, we had to recommend this extraordinary walking event.

With the big crowd in the start hall, we were fortunate that we were there at the same time and they heard us speaking English. After exchanging pleasantries for a few minutes, the lady took out her IVV event book and showed us IVV stamps from when they walked several sections of the Great Wall of China. Now that was unusual! We’re not sure if we will ever see that again. (Having said that, the next time we see “Pat” Patterson, he’ll probably have those stamps in his book!)

Later that day, we drove 15 minutes southwest of Lisse to Noordwijk aan Zee and walked around on the beach (at the North Sea) and had some refreshments at a small establishment on the beach. By the time we got back to Lisse, we had only a few minutes to walk around the grounds of Keukenhof Castle before it closed. Oh well, something to see more of next time we visit.

If you plan to go to Keukenhof, get there before it closes on May 20. Find information with a list of dates and activities at www.keukenhof.nl, where you can pay for tickets, a guide and parking.

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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