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Happy almost-New Year’s Eve, everybody! We hope you get the new year off to a great start and that you have an abundance of volksmarches in store in 2011. Just keep the fliers coming our way and we will provide you with walking opportunities for your weekends.

Today we will be at one of our favorite walks, the annual Oliebollen Wandeltocht in Simpelveld, Netherlands. Oliebollen is a seasonal Dutch pastry which, if eaten, is said to bring good luck in the new year. These tangerine-sized balls of fried dough can be plain or with raisins. They are served warm with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. This walk will have oliebollen and Glühwein at the start and controls. What a great combination to fight off the cold in late December!

This weekend’s walk in Ochsenhausen, Germany, is a Stammtisch walk for the Stuttgart German American Wandering Club. Start time is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Look for the blue flag of the SGAWC in the start hall and join them for a good time in Ochsenhausen.

Bob Gambert reports that 47 members of the SGAWC went to the walk in Erstein, France, and stopped in Strasbourg to visit the Christmas market. It sounds like they had a very good time.

A couple of “must-do” walks are approaching, so start planning for them now. Next Saturday, Jan. 8, is the annual Paris walk. We think this is a walk that all serious volksmarchers need to do at least once while in Europe. Make sure you dress warmly and take the camera. For information on this walk, as well as the club’s other walks this year, see www.godillot-familial.com. It is in French only.

On Feb. 26-27, the walk in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, takes place. This is an excellent weekend of volksmarching in one of the most enchanting cities in Germany. Mark it on your calendar now and plan to attend. Just as Paris is a must-see city, so is Rothenburg. Both places can be addicting — go once and chances are you’ll want to go back.

There will be more information on these events as they get closer and as more fliers and facts roll in. If your club is hosting a walk, please let us know well in advance so we can promote it for you. We need an absolute minimum of two weeks’ advance notice to meet our publication deadlines. This also applies to any upcoming walks that you consider to be exceptional. Let us know why you think it is great, and we will share your enthusiasm with your fellow readers. We look forward to your input and feedback. Drop us a few lines at two.walkers@yahoo.com.

A million thanks to all the people who have sent us fliers this year. This week we will list them all. Please keep the fliers, after-action reports, suggestions and assorted other messages coming. We enjoy reading your messages and appreciate your comments.

You guys are the greatest: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Cath and Rob Floyd; Richard and Donna Glenn; John and Evelyn Golembe; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; John, Mary and Tess Laub; Tim and Luchi Lynch; John and Patty Marsh; “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson; Bob Gambert; Lew Harrison; Wayne Henry; Nora Hernandez; Jerry Lucchesi; Dave Miller; Rick Sciascia; Nancy Shawley; and Ed Whitworth.

And a special thanks to Clark Soeldner for keeping us all up-to-date on volksmarching in Italy.

Last, but not least, thanks to all of you who posted comments online. This was a year of change for the Stars and Stripes Volksmarch column. It has required adjustments for everyone, but we feel that we are moving strongly into 2011.

A happy new year to you all!

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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