Volksmarch column for June 23
There are some very good walks this week, and Bob is going to miss them because he is back in the States. Of course, the American Volkssport Association website has been consulted and some permanent walks have been identified. After-action reports on the U.S. walks will be coming in the future.
Here are the good events that Bob will be missing:
• For an excellent walk Saturday, head to Vianden, Luxembourg, and traverse some of the most beautiful countryside in Europe. The start times are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the six-, 11- and 15-kilometer routes and 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the 20- or 30-kilometer trails. Marathon walkers can start between 6 and 9 a.m. After the walk, be sure to visit the castle.
• Sunday, head to Wardin, Belgium. Its walk starts between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Whenever we have the chance, we enjoy walking in the Bastogne/Battle of the Bulge area. Bob likes to read about the fighting and look for landmarks while doing the walk. Bastogne, with its restaurants and museums, is a good place to visit while in the area.
• We have enjoyed walking in Tiefenbach, Germany, especially when the route takes us past the castle in Braunfels.
• The walk in See, Germany, is convenient for those in the Hohenfels area.
• The walk in Ehlenz, Germany, is convenient for the folks in the Spangdahlem and Bitburg area.
• If you live in the Baumholder area, the volksmarch in Heimbach is right next door. It starts at the Besenbinderhalle between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday. This walk is for IVV credit only.
• Next Wednesday’s walk in Bad Dürkheim should be fun. Be sure to try a little bit of the local wine. The start and finish is at the Weingut Kurt Lang.
• The Barcis, Italy, event is a “do not miss” walk. All routes circle the lake, with the longer ones going into the surrounding mountains.
• The marathon walk in Pove del Grappa, Italy, will be a renovated route on trails and tunnels from World War I. The course takes you to the summit of Monte Grappa and its Ossario, the final resting place of more than 23,000 Italian and Austrian soldiers. The hills are formidable. Doing the marathon route will earn you 58 kilometers of IVV credit.
• A few weeks ago, we joined some fellow members of the Tri-Border Walking Club for a trip to the Friesland Province of the Netherlands. We stayed in the beautiful little town of Sneek (pronounced “snake.”) We drove up on a Friday afternoon, explored the city center and then had an excellent dinner at De Walrus restaurant.
Saturday morning started off with a guided walking tour of the city. After a little shopping, we headed to the nearby city of IJlst. It was “Open Mill Day” in the Netherlands, so we visited a working windmill that was also a sawmill.
Then we went to Kornwerderzand at the beginning of the Afsluitdijk. The Afsluitdijk is the 32-kilometer-long dike that divides the IJsselmeer from the North Sea. When it was built in the 1930s, the Dutch military built a series of bunkers at Kornwerderzand to protect the dike from attack. In May 1940, these bunkers were attacked by the German army but Dutch defenses turned them back. When the Netherlands fell, the soldiers in the bunkers were forced to surrender. Today, there is a small visitors center where you can get an audio guide for touring the restored bunkers.
Then it was back to Sneek to find the bakery where they make the delicious Drabbelkoeken. At first we missed the small establishment located in a residential area along a canal. Once we found it, we went inside and met the owner. She was cleaning up before closing, so we were not able to see how the cookies were made. We were, however, able to sample and buy some of the freshly made goodies.
Sunday morning we drove to the small town of Oudemirdun. There was no formal walk, but our trip captain, Lloyd, had laid out a walking route based on a map from the Tourist Information Office. It was a beautiful morning for walking, and we saw a beautiful windmill and got a great view of the IJsselmeer.
After a group lunch back in Oudemirdun, we headed back home to the Limburg area.
E-mail volksmarch information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.