Volksmarch column for the weekend of July 23-25
As an introduction to this week’s column, we have to borrow some lyrics from Bob Dylan and say, “The times, they are a-changin’.” We’re sure that most will agree that if you don’t keep up with change, time will certainly pass you by.
For years we’ve worked diligently to shoehorn our volksmarch column into the printed pages of Stars and Stripes. No more! Due to some changes in the newspaper’s allotment of space and presentation of features material, Stars and Stripes has decided to move most of the volksmarch column and all of the chart onto the Web, where there is space to provide more information. Beginning in August, you will still see the beginning of the column in the paper in the new Weekend section on Thursday, but the chart and extra tidbits, such as prize information and location notes, will appear online only.
The online version will be available all the time from anywhere, not just on Thursdays. Plus, volksmarch online lets you comment on our columns and share your experiences immediately, not having to wait for us to collect them and save them for the next week’s column. In fact, we’ll be checking online to see what volksmarchers around the world are talking about.
The website is legacy.stripes.com. Go to Military Life, then Travel, then click on “Volksmarch column for the week of….” See you online!
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Next weekend is the big walk in Stuttgart. Sponsors are offering new trails this year — seven, 12 and 22 kilometers — with the shortest one being stroller-friendly. Starting times are 8 a.m. Saturday and 6:30 a.m. Sunday. We’ll have more details in next week’s column.
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The Heidelberg International Wandering Club recently went on a bus trip to the Netherlands. Frank Dunfrund, the trip captain, sent us an excellent after-action report, and we’d like to share portions of it with you.
“We had an outstanding trip to Kinderdijk, Gouda and Delft. We drove to the Kinderdijk windmills on Saturday. Kinderdijk was very picturesque and the weather cooperated magnificently. We took a boat tour of the windmill area that lasted about an hour, giving us many photo opportunities. It also let us enjoy the cool breeze on a hot sunny day. During the tour, we passed several windmills that were operating with their sails deployed.
“After the boat tour, we walked to an operating windmill that was open to the public. It was a self-guided tour that let us take our time and see what it was like to live in a windmill. With the information provided by the tour and the signs (in English) we were able to find out how the whole process of land recovery was managed.
“Saturday evening was free time. Some of us took a van to the downtown area and watched the soccer games and had dinner. We went to an out-of-the-way restaurant and had a wonderful dinner with wine, beer and really excellent creative foods...
“Sunday it was off to the walk in Delft. This event is a little different from ones we are used to attending. The walk was made with a set of directions similar to the Paris volksmarch, where we have to follow street names and direction arrows. They issue start cards by groups instead of by individuals — one card for a 5k walk, one for a 10k walk and one for 15k, and so on, with written instructions. We broke into three groups and started doing the routes. The walks were fabulous tours of the town of Delft. We spent most of the time looking at canals, wildlife of the canals, architecture and had many more photo ops.... The pavement was marked with chalk, but that easily wears off, so we had to be careful where we went.
“After the walk, we stopped at a Delft pottery factory and had a tour of how pottery is made, followed by the opportunity to purchase some handmade pottery.
“Way too soon, it was time to board the bus for the trip home. On the way, the HIWC karaoke chorus serenaded us with a selection of music. This was an excellent trip that was a lot of fun and we had a really good walk, so it was just about as good as it can get.”
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Notes about this week’s events:
• Walkers in the Kaiserslautern, Germany, area should note that this weekend’s walk starts in Glan-Münchweiler, located off Autobahn 62, and not another local town called Münchweiler. Start the five-, 10- or 20-kilometer distances both Saturday and Sunday between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. (finish by 5 p.m.).
• Folks in the Eifel region will find Sunday’s walk in Niederkail convenient. Walk six, 10 or 20 kilometers starting between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.
• The Moruzzo, Italy, walk will be in the hills around Fagagna — always a pretty area to visit.
E-mail volksmarch information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.