Well, folks, the weekend we’ve been waiting for is here: It’s time for the big volksmarch in Heidelberg. It’s 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 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 casern.

The start times are between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, and 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday. The five-kilometer route will stay below the hills and will be flat and stroller friendly. The 11- 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. Additionally, the 22k-trail will take you past Heidelberg Castle.

The Heidelberg International Wandering Club always comes up with an excellent mug for a prize, and this year is no exception. The beautiful beer mug features a multicolored picture of Heidelberg Castle and the old 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 mantel at home, these mugs are conversation pieces that will catch people’s eyes.

In addition, organizers will award Commander Cup trophies to the military activities with the most participants, so bring your unit, along with your guidon, and participate in German style. If you volunteered to work — thanks! If you can’t stay to 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 0172-623-9338.

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.

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We also would like to say “auf Wiedersehen” to Debbie Miller of the HIWC as she relocates to the States. The trails will be a little emptier without her.

Good luck, Debbie, as you start wandering the Alabama countryside.

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If you can’t make it to Heidelberg: Vianden, Luxembourg, is hosting a walk Sunday. Between the beautiful countryside and the magnificent castle, Vianden is always a wonderful place to walk. Routes range from six to 20 kilometers; the start hall opens at 7 a.m. with the latest start time at 1 p.m. for the 20k-trail and 2 p.m. for the others. Hmm … is Vianden is on our way back from Heidelberg?

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Clark Soeldner, our Italian volksmarching connection, says, “The Valle San Floriano walk is a charity walk for Children of the Street. The 42-kilometer trail goes over the mountain and back up the next one. Along the way you will pass tunnels and trenches from World War I. At one overlook there is a beautiful view into the valley and town of Valstanga. A walker’s lunch will be available at the end of the walk. Final arrival is 4:30 p.m.”

• The prize for completing Sunday’s San Giovanni Lupatoto walk is tortellini filled with frog meat.

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Our unending gratitude goes to this week’s contributors. They are: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Cath and Rob Floyd; Richard and Donna Glenn; John and Evelyn Golembe; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; John, Mary and Tess Laub; Tim and Luchi Lynch; “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson; Lew Harrison, Wayne Henry, Rick Sciascia and Nancy Shawley. Keep those fliers coming!

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