Volksmarch column for Sept. 15 and beyond
A lot of good walks happen to fall on this weekend.
A very close walk for readers in the Kaiserslautern Military Community will be held this weekend in Bruchmühl-bach, Germany, west of Landstuhl. The doors open at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cut-off time for the 5- and 10-kilometer routes is 1 p.m.; it’s noon for the 18-kilometer trail. The prize is a B-medal.
Look for the blue flag of the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club this weekend in Hildrizhausen. This is a Stammtisch walk for the club, so they will be there in force. Start trails between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
• For the first torch walk of the season, head to Kützberg, Germany, Saturday. Start the 5-kilometer route between 7 and 8 p.m. A toy police car is the prize. Let’s hope this is the first of many torch walks this year. The Wanderclub Kützberg will be offering regular walks Saturday starting at 2 p.m. and Sunday between 7 a.m. and noon. Kützberg is located west of Schweinfurt.
• In Italy, the walk in Budoia is the 39th edition of the Marcia dei Funghi, or Mushroom Walk. This is a very popular event held in conjunction with a mushroom festival; there will be vendors selling all types of fresh mushrooms. The shorter walks have mild hills, while the 25-k route has serious grades.
• We have always enjoyed the walk in Schinveld, Netherlands. Seeing our Scottish Highlander “friends” and going past the glider field is high on our favorites list. If you are in the Tri-Border area this Sunday, plug “Broekstraat 2” in the trusty GPS to find the Cafe Im Weissen Roessl.
• Another one of our favorite walks takes place in Luxembourg this weekend. Sunday you can walk in Wiltz, where in the past the routes have wound around hills overlooking the city and the castle. Wiltz was the headquarters of the 28th Infantry Division and the site of desperate fighting during the Battle of the Bulge. A walk through the countryside will give you an appreciation for the difficult terrain the soldiers had to contend with during the fighting. Add terrible winter conditions, and you can imagine their ordeal.
• The Ford automotive plant in Saarlouis, Germany, hosts its 39th volksmarch this weekend. The 6-, 10-, 20- and 30- kilometer trails start 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. To reach the event, take the Saarlouis Steinrausch exit off Autobahn 8 if coming from the Luxembourg or Saarbrücken direction. If driving from Kaiserslautern or Karlsruhe, take the Nalbach exit. Enter through gate number four at the Ford Werk. Then look for Kantine Halle B.
• Next week is the big Heidelberg volksmarch. The start and finish will be at the International Gesamtschule, behind Nachrichten Kaserne (the U.S. Army Hospital). Rob Floyd of the Heidelberg International Walking Club says: “The 10- and 22-kilometer trails will meander through the forests and fields throughout the hills above Heidelberg, passing by the Ehrenfriedhof Memorial. This is a monument commemorating those who died in battle in the Heidelberg area during both world wars and offers a marvelous panorama of the city of Heidelberg. The 22-km trail will venture to the castle, while the 5-km will stay below and will be flat and stroller friendly.
"This year’s beer stein prize will depict an old scene of the Heidelberg Bridge and Castle. In addition, the walk will award Commander’s Cup trophies to the military activities with the most participants. So bring your unit, bring your guidons and come participate in genuine German syle.
“The volksmarch will be full of surprises, plus good food and traditional German music Saturday and Sunday. We invite everyone to join us for this special event.”
HIWC passed along the official invitation to the walk from Col. Bryan DeCoster:“On behalf of the United States Garrison Baden Württemberg, please accept our invitation to the Heidelberg International Wandering Club’s 37th Annual Volksmarch, Sept. 24-25, 2011. The HIWC and the surrounding countryside offer one of the most beautiful and challenging courses you’ll find anywhere in Germany. Whether you enjoy walking through the towns and forests, or running in the hills above Heidelberg, this Volksmarch has something for everyone. The HIWC always attends meticulously to every detail, so come out and participate in a great German tradition.”
If you have a few spare hours next weekend, volunteer to work at the walk. If you can’t work, bring a cake, cookies or other type of goodies for the club to sell. For more information, contact Rob Floyd at 06227-841226 or 0172-6239338.
• A great big thanks to the contributors of this week’s column. They are: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro, Michael and Michelle Connor, Cath and Rob Floyd, Bob Gambert, Richard and Donna Glenn, Wayne Henry, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, Tim and Luchi Lynch, “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson, Richie and Young Sook Reeder and Rick and Wanda Sciascia.
E-mail volksmarch information to email@example.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.