Volksmarch column for Dec. 9-12
This is the weekend of the Bastogne Historic Walk, so you know where we will be spending the weekend. We plan to be in Bastogne no later than 3 p.m. Friday so we can pay our pre-registration fee before the crowd arrives Saturday morning.
We will be at the start hall bright and early Saturday and plan to walk the 12-kilometer route. Depending on the weather, we’ll adjust longer or shorter.
As in the past, we hope to see both American and German soldiers as re-enactors. 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 conditions around Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
After the walk, we will visit the small Christmas market, shop at some of the local stores and have a late lunch before attending the traditional Nuts Festival at city hall.
Look for us in the mass of people in Bastogne this weekend as we honor those who fought and died in the historic struggle around Bastogne.
If you’re not a WWII history enthusiast, there are plenty of other 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 hosting a March of the Christmas Lights on Saturday afternoon and evening.
• The Ramstein Roadrunners are off to the walk and Christmas market in Brussels on Saturday.
• Also on the go this weekend, the Stuttgart German American Wandering Club is heading to Erstein, France, for the Saturday evening Marché de la St. Nicolas. We hope they enjoy the French version of a volksmarch and Christmas market combination.
• 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 the city’s Christmas market.
• If none of these interest you, consider the Fackelwanderung — or torch walk — Saturday evening in Ruhlkirchen, Germany.
Wherever you walk this weekend, bundle up and have a good time.
• We asked Brad Crandall, president of the Ramstein Roadrunners, how the Turkey Trot went on Thanksgiving. Here’s what he said:
“The weather here was really bad — we had freezing temperatures, rain and intermittent snow showers throughout the day. The snow made the views from the 10km even prettier — almost like a winter wonderland — but it resulted in the closing of our parking lot due to icing. We had an entire soccer field to put cars in, but the hill into the lot got too slick to use by midmorning.
“However, that didn’t stop the crowds from coming out and walking from our new start location and on our new trails. We had at least 600 walkers and the start hall was full most of the day, which kept the volunteers hopping.
“I consider this event a success in spite of the weather. We couldn’t have done it without the core of dedicated volunteers who gave their time and energy to make this event successful.”
• We thank these fine folks for sending the fliers needed for this week’s column: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro, Cath and Rob Floyd, Richard and Donna Glenn, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, Tim
E-mail volksmarch information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.