Volksmarch column for Sept. 22 and beyond
Well, folks, the weekend we’ve been waiting for is here. This is the weekend of the big volksmarch in Heidelberg. It is also the weekend of the Heidelberg Autumn Fair, or Heidelberger Herbst. Between the Volksmarch and the fair, we can’t think of a better place to be than Heidelberg this weekend.The start and finish of the walk will be at the International Gesamtschule, behind Nachrichten Kaserne. Since the school is in a busy residential area, we usually park at the Kaserne.Start times are between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday. The 5-km route will stay below the hills and will be flat and stroller friendly. The 11- and 22-km 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. Additionally, the 22-km trail will take you past Heidelberg Castle. Your camera is a must for this walk. Make sure its batteries are fully charged and you’ve got plenty of space on your memory cards.Walkers come from all over Germany and Europe for this walk. We’ll be looking for the blue shirts and smiling faces of the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club, which is sending a busload of walkers. There will be a lot of maroon shirts and jackets from the Ramstein Roadrunners, too. Whether on the trail, or in the start hall, don’t hesitate to go up to these folks and say, “Hi!” Of course, the Heidelberg club members will be all over the place making sure the walk is progressing smoothly. They will be wearing their club shirt or a lime green “volunteer” shirt. If you have any questions, they will gladly help.The Heidelberg International Walking Club always comes up with an excellent mug for a prize, and this year is no exception. It is a beautiful beer mug with a multi-colored picture of the old Heidelberg Castle and city. This is one walk where we have seen people carrying away boxes of mugs because they are so nice. Whether on your desk at work or on the mantle at home, these mugs are conversation pieces that will catch people's eyes. Last year we found some beer flavored Gummi Bears to fill the clear glass mug and then placed a layer of white Gummis on top to represent the foam. We forget who told us about this and we thought it was a clever idea, even if the beer flavored Gummi Bears didn’t taste all that good. The filled mug did look very nice, however.To spark a little friendly competition, the club will award Commander Cup trophies to the military activities with the most participants. So bring your unit, along with your guidon, and participate in genuine German style. If you volunteered to work — thanks! If you can’t stay and work, you can still help by donating some baked goods for the club to sell. For any last-minute questions, contact Rob Floyd at 06227-841226 or 0172-6239338.We’d like to remind you of one of our favorite tips: buy your food tickets before you walk, when, hopefully, the line for tickets will be shorter. Then, after the walk, you can go directly to the food line. If you’re walking with a friend, have him or her get in the drinks line. If there is a third person in your group, have him or her grab some seats for those in line. In the past, we have been able to smell the delicious aroma from the grills as we approached the finish. We were glad we already had our tickets.As much as we like to hang out with friends at the start hall, we’re anxious to visit the Heidelberger Herbst, too. Look for us in the start hall or on the trail this Saturday in Heidelberg. • Vianden, Luxembourg, is hosting a walk Sunday. Between the beautiful countryside and castle, Vianden is a wonderful place to walk. The walk offers routes from 6 to 20 kilometers, and the start hall opens at 7 a.m. The latest start time is 1 p.m. for the 20-kilometer trail and 2 p.m. for the others. There are plenty of hills around Vianden, but the views make them worthwhile.• In the Kaiserslautern Military Community area this weekend, there is a walk in Wolfstein, about 30 kilometers north of Kaiserslautern. The doors open at 7 a.m. both days for this event. Walk here for IVV credit only.• If you are in the Stuttgart area, the volksmarch in Renningen is a Stammtisch event for the Stuttgart German American Wandering Club. Start this walk Saturday between 1 and 3 p.m. and Sunday between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. • Clark Soeldner, our Italian volksmarching connection, tells us the Valle San Floriano walk is a charity walk for the Children of the Street. The 42-kilometer trail goes over the mountain and back up the next one. Along the way it passes tunnels and trenches from WWI. At one overlook there is a beautiful view into the valley and town of Valstanga. Final arrival is 4:30 p.m. • Oct. 8 the Ramstein Roadrunners will take a bus to the walk in Bischofsdron. Afterward they will drive to Zell on the Mosel for their wine festival. Time is running short to sign up, so hurry and check with Gene Behrends at firstname.lastname@example.org.• That weekend, the Heidelberg club will go north to walk in Denmark. This is a three-day trip that includes three walks — two in Germany and one in Denmark. Don Casper is the trip captain. Email him at Don.Casper1@t-online.de. Again, time is of the essence, so hurry and contact Don if you are interested.• Our unending gratitude goes out to this week’s group of contributors. 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. Keep those fliers coming!
E-mail volksmarch information to email@example.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.