Volksmarch column, Dec. 01, 2011
With Christmas rapidly approaching, there are several events this weekend with Christmas themes to enjoy. Saturday and Sunday, Ebern-hahn, Germany, hosts a walk with a Nativity scene as the prize. This is actually a B-medal from last year’s Krippenstrecke event. The routes are 5, 10 and 20 kilometers and will start at 8 a.m. Two years ago we did this walk and then drove over to the Christmas market in Montabaur. At the Hüttigweiler, Germany, event, you can get a ceramic plate with a Santa Claus theme as the prize. They have B- and C-medal plates from previous walks, but quantities are limited. We have admired these colorful plates for years and have yet to get down there to do the walk. It’s only about 60 kilometers from the factory outlet stores in Mettlach. Maybe this will be the year. Sunday, the walk at Alt-Hürth starts next to the Christmas market at the Pfarrheim at Lindenstrasse 7. With a Christmas market and a volksmarch located close to one another, parking might be a challenge, so try to get there as early as possible. The walk starts at 11 a.m.; routes are 6 and 10 kilometers. If you get wrapped up in the Christmas market, make sure you finish the walk by closing time at 5 p.m. Then you can go back for more shopping. For the Eifel region walkers, there is a walk Sunday in Niederkail, near Bitburg and Spangdahlem. Start from the Kailbachhalle on Brückenstrasse between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. You must be finished by 5 p.m. This walk is for IVV credit only. Sunday, starting at 5 p.m., there will be a torch walk event in Mönchengladbach. The start is at the Christmas market on Glockenstrasse. It’s unusual to find a torch walk combined with a Christmas market, especially on a Sunday evening, so this is a very unique event. Good luck to the Stuttgart German American Wandering Club as they fill up a bus and head to Bregenz, Austria, for the walk and Christmas market. This sounds like a great time.Next weekend is the big Bastogne Historical Walk. We will drive down Friday afternoon to register for the walk. There is no pre-registration this year, so we imagine the start hall will be pretty crowded Saturday morning, and we don’t want to get caught up in that crowd. Saturday morning we’ll be at the start bright and early for the walk. We want to participate in the ceremonies along the route, so we will leave promptly at 8 a.m. After the walk we’ll visit the stores in Bastogne and watch the traditional nut throwing ceremony at city hall. The Bastogne Historical Center, near the Mardisson Monument, is closed for renovations, so we plan to visit the new Airborne Museum Bastogne at Avenue de la Gare 11-13. Also in Bastogne is the Bastogne Barracks at Rue de La Roche 40. Its flier advertises a display of dioramas, military memorabilia and a WWII vehicle exposition. The Bastogne Barracks will be open 1 to 6 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Another area attraction, the Bastogne Ardennes 44 Museum in the nearby town of Bras, will offer a sneak preview of their new facility starting Saturday. Opening hours are not on their Web page. To get there from Bastogne, take the N84 toward Diekirch/Ettelbruck, and the museum is just before you cross into Luxembourg. Look for us at Bastogne. E-mail volksmarch information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.