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It’s Father’s Day weekend. Dads, you can sleep in any day, but a volksmarch is an excellent way to spend a day with the family. Get some fresh air, exercise and quality time with your loved ones. We occasionally get e-mails seeking information about upcoming walks from people who are returning to Europe and are looking for a volksmarch like the ones their parents took them on when they were stationed in Germany years ago. They want to recapture the volksmarch magic from their youth. Here’s a chance to create some fond memories for your family.

• It sounds like the Heidelberg International Wandering Club had a blast on its weekend trip to Kufstein, Austria, last month. Trip captain Don Casper asked one of the walkers on the trip to compile an after-action report, and we received a detailed account of their adventure. The report is a bit long for the column, but here are some highlights:

The trip started with an early-morning departure that soon turned into the traditional HIWC rolling breakfast buffet as breakfast items were passed around the bus. Even after a stop in Stuttgart to pick up some more walkers, the club members were far enough ahead of schedule to halt near the town of Oberaudorf, Germany, and walk a permanent volksmarch trail. It was a family friendly course that wound through local farming villages and had “breathtaking views of the mountains everywhere you looked.”

After checking into their hotel in Kufstein, club members hit the town for different activities. Some did a self-guided tour of the old city, while others went to see the town’s fortress. At the fortress they were surprised to find a medieval festival with food and live entertainment.

Sunday morning they were off for the trip’s main volksmarch. The walk started with a path along the Inn River and then a boat ride across it. Soon they were in meadows and forests. The trail went past a beautiful waterfall and some made a side trip up and down the mountain on a chairlift. Returning to the start hall, they were greeted by “the aromas of schnitzel, wurst and pommes frites.” After getting their books stamped and getting something to eat, club members had just enough time to make a quick trip into the old city for last-minute souvenirs before the trip home.

Here’s a tip of the hat to Don for leading such a fun-filled trip. Thanks also to the writer of the after-action report. The HIWC has one of these trips about every month. Even though it is a long drive for us to get to Heidelberg, we have been on two of these adventures and have loved every minute of them. We look forward to our next opportunity to join the club on another trip. We will keep you informed as well.

Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:

• For an excellent walk Saturday, head to Vianden, Luxembourg, and walk through some of the most beautiful countryside in Europe. The six-, 11- and 15-kilometer routes start between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.; start time for the 20k trail cuts off at 1 p.m. After the walk, visit the castle. Look for the Kaiserslautern Sunny Coyotes, who will be there Saturday.

Here are the weekly words of wisdom from Clark Soeldner, the guru of volksmarching in Italy:

• The prize at the San Quirino walk is either a T-shirt, for 6 euros, or a polo shirt for 10 euros.

• To get to the Ziano di Fiemme walk, take A22 to the Egna-Ora exit. Then follow SS48 to kilometer 24. In the past, this has been a very pretty mountain walk. There was even a New England-style covered bridge along the route. For more information or lodging, call (+39) (0) 462-570016.

• The mountain walk in Giazzara di Trambileno is one of my personal favorites. I’d strongly suggest an early arrival because parking is limited and this is a very popular event.


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