This weekend is the Cystic Fibrosis fund-raising drive known as Deutschland wandert — Deutschland hilft, or, Germany walks — Germany helps. Many clubs, in coordination with the German volksmarching organization, have pledged a percentage from each walker’s 1.50-euro start fee to the German Cystic Fibrosis foundation. The walks in Bad Wurzach, Berschweiler, Budenheim, Fulda, Humes and Marschalkenzimmern represent just a few of the clubs that have made this pledge. Get out there and take a walk that is not only healthy for you, but also will improve the health of someone else.
• • •
This weekend’s really big walk is in Fulda, Germany. There will be walks Friday evening in addition to the usual Saturday and Sunday events. If you want to do the marathon walk Saturday, you must be signed in and ready to go before 8 a.m. That’s when the last bus leaves to take you to the starting point. This big weekend of walking is co-sponsored by the International Marching League, so you can get your IML books stamped as well as your IVV books. It also means there will be plenty of walkers at these events.
• • •
For readers in the Tri-Border area, there is a truly unique walk Sunday. The event in Sibbe, Netherlands, will go through some old mining caves in Valkenburg. There is a Christmas market in these caves every year, so they are safe and big enough to walk through. This is not an IVV-sanctioned walk, so you will not get your books stamped, but this is a rare opportunity. The location of the start hall is not mentioned, so head to the town of Sibbe and look for signs.
• • •
Another unusual opportunity presents itself Sunday if you would like to walk along the Belgium-Luxembourg border in the Bastogne region. A few kilometers northeast of Bastogne, the town of Longvilly is just on the Belgian side of the border. About 20 kilometers southeast of Bastogne is Bigonville, just inside the Luxembourg border. Here is a chance for you to walk through the rolling hills and forests of the Belgium-Luxembourg frontier. You might get a new appreciation of what the fighting was like in the winter of 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. After one, or both, of the walks, visit the museums or restaurants in Bastogne. The flier for the Longvilly walk mentions a barbecue of local specialties, so there will be good food there, too.
• Good luck to the Ramstein Roadrunners as they take a busload of walkers to the Budenheim Volksmarch on Saturday, with a follow-on trip to the Boppard wine festival and Rhine in Flames fireworks display.
• If you have the day off Wednesday, head to Mainz for a midweek walk. The start is at the Karl Geib Haus at Kapellenstrasse 44. Doors open at 8 a.m.
• • •
Our Italian volksmarching connection, Clark Soeldner, asks: “How about a boat ride? The 12- and 21-kilometer trails at San Paolo di Morsano al Tagliamento include a boat ride across the Tagliamento River. You might want to bring a change of pants, because unless you are in the first boatload, you’ll probably end up sitting in a wet seat!”
• In the past, the Mussolente walk has taken walkers past some World War I trenches. Trees may be growing now, but there is no mistaking the trenches along the hillside.
• The Zanè event is a great walk through the hills. There is a huge turnout, so you’d better get there early if you want a good parking spot.
• The Friday walk at Pieve Albignola has a repeatable route. You can walk as many 11-kilometer laps as you want … just be finished by 2 p.m. You might want to plan to be finished by noon — that’s when the pasta party begins.
• • •
Thanks to these awesome people, there were fliers galore for this week’s column. They are: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Richard and Donna Glenn; Tim and Luchi Lynch; “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson; and Wayne Henry and Nora Hernandez.