Volksmarch column, Dec. 8, 2011
This is the weekend of the Bastogne Historical Walk, so you know where we’ll be spending the weekend.
We plan to be in Bastogne no later than 3 p.m. Friday so we can register for the walk before the crowd arrives Saturday morning. You can sign up Friday between 3 and 6 p.m. The doors open Saturday morning at 7 a.m., with the walk starting at 8 a.m.
After registering, we plan to hit one of the new attractions, either the Bastogne Barracks or the Airborne Museum Bastogne. The Bastogne Barracks, located at Rue de La Roche 40, is open Friday until 6 p.m., while the Airborne Museum, at Avenue de la Gare 11, is open until 5 p.m. Whichever one we do not visit Friday will be added to the agenda for Saturday afternoon along with a visit to the Bastogne Ardennes ’44 Museum in the nearby town of Bras. This is a new museum with a sneak-preview opening at 10 a.m. Last admission is 5 p.m., with a 6 p.m. closing time.
We will be at the start hall bright and early Saturday morning and plan to walk the 13-kilometer route.
Depending on the weather, we’ll adjust longer or shorter. The shorter trail is 7 kilometers; the longer one is 22 kilometers. As in years past, we hope to see re-enactors of both American and German soldiers.
They will have uniforms, weapons, vehicles and other equipment from World War II. They usually dig foxholes, set up fighting positions and try to re-create the fighting conditions found around Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
This will be a hectic weekend in Bastogne. The main street through downtown will be closed most of the day Saturday due to parades. It would be a good idea to grab the first parking spot you see and walk everywhere for the rest of the day.
If you are not a WWII history enthusiast, there are still plenty of exciting walks this weekend.
• The Saturday evening event in Metz, France, is a very popular walk through a beautiful old city that is lit up for Christmas. Arlon, Belgium, is also hosting its March of the Christmas Lights Saturday afternoon and evening.
• Saturday afternoon the walk at Bockenau, Germany, ends at the town’s Christmas market.
• Sunday’s walk in Hamm, Luxembourg, is just south of Luxembourg City. After the walk, it would be easy to visit Luxembourg City’s Christmas market.
• If those aren’t enough choices, how about a Fackelwanderung Saturday evening in Ruhlkirchen, Germany?
Wherever you walk this weekend, bundle up and have a good time!
• We received a flier for the Rothenburg, Germany, walk and it will be held Feb. 25 and 26. Start making your plans now to attend this excellent event.
• We also heard from Brad Crandall in an after-action report on the Ramstein Roadrunners’ Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. Here’s what he had to say:
“The Ramstein Roadrunner’s annual Turkey Trot was a great success, especially since the weather was on our side for a change. It was cold, but we didn’t get snow like last year which made it much more enjoyable. We had between 800 and 850 attendees based on ticket sales, but I think the number may be higher since the hall was full all morning.
“The trail was very nice with 5- and 11-kilometer options — well marked as always, at least until someone tore down our trail tape after the second control, which caused confusion. The trail crew got this resolved quickly as soon as we found out about it. The officers and I would like to thank the dedicated volunteers that helped us make this a successful event. Without the volunteers, this type of event would not happen and the Roadrunner members came through once again. ...“After the walk was over, the volunteers got together at the hall and had an old-fashioned Thanksgiving Dinner with roasted turkey, ham and all the fixings courtesy of the club.“All in all, a good time was had by all and things went very well.”Thanks a lot for the report, Brad, and congratulations on a job well done. Finally, thanks to these fine folks for sending the fliers needed for this week’s column: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro, Michael and Michelle Connor, Cath and Rob Floyd, Bob Gambert, Richard and Donna Glenn, John and Evelyn Golembe, Tim and Luchi Lynch, “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson, Richie and Young Sook Reeder, Rick and Wanda Sciascia and Nancy Shawley.E-mail volksmarch information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO AE 09752.