Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.
This week is Norm Raynal’s last scheduled marathon for the summer as he raises money for the Landstühl Fisher Houses. The mission of the two Fisher Houses is to provide a home away from home for families and patients receiving medical care at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany.
Norm’s goal for the summer was to walk seven marathons in five countries to reach a goal of $20,000. He will be happy when he finishes his seventh marathon, but he’ll be happier to see that you have made a pledge. Please visit his Web site and make a pledge: www.sponsormywalk.info. If you have already made a pledge, now is the time to bust out the checkbook and follow through.
Mark your calendars! These are some interesting walks that we think you would enjoy. Read the Volksmarch column for the appropriate week for walk details.
• Sept. 23, Lillois, Belgium: The town of Lillois is just south of Waterloo, and the Marche de l’Empereur will undoubtedly take you around and or through the massive battlefield. The routes are 7, 14, 25, 35 and 60 kilometers. After your walk, visit the Waterloo museums and, if you’ve got anything left in your legs, walk the 200-plus steps up the Butte du Lion monument to get a bird’s-eye view of the battlefield. This probably will be a big, crowded walk, so try to get there early.
• Sept. 23, Wiltz, Luxembourg: This is the former headquarters of the 28th Infantry Division and the site of desperate fighting during the Battle of the Bulge. Get a beautiful view of the city and castle as you walk the hills around the city. This was one of our first walks in Europe. There is a very nice museum in the basement of the castle, but I believe it closes for the winter in mid-September.
• Sept. 24, Vianden, Luxembourg: More beautiful trails around another spectacular castle. I have a picture of this castle as a screensaver on my computer.
• Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, Boppard, Germany: A beautiful city beside the Rhine River. This is another well-organized walk and it coincides with the town’s annual wine festival. The town has old Roman ruins and several riverside restaurants; on Saturday night there will be a fireworks display. Food and wine booths abound and live music and bands are everywhere. If you like sweet, white wines, try the Federweissen.
• Oct. 14 and 15, Grafenwöhr, Germany: We have never walked here, but the flier makes it sound like the local club is going all out for this walk.
• Oct. 28 and 29, Koblenz, Germany: Nice trails through beautiful fall-colored forests. We have walked here twice and enjoyed both Volksmarches.
• Nov. 4, Volkach, Germany: The first Fackelwanderung (torch walk) we’ve seen advertised for this year. There is nothing like walking on a cool fall evening and watching the torches of fellow walkers snake along the trail both ahead of and behind you.
As a reminder, the big name in bold print on the front of a Volksmarch flier is not always the location for the start of the walk. There are two examples of this this week. “Kronach” is in big, bold print on the front of one flier, but the start hall is in the nearby town of Vogtendorf. This is also the case in Miesau, where the start is in Bruchhmühlbach. If there is not enough room to list both names in the chart, we will list the place where the start hall is located.
High-fives to all who volunteered last weekend at Heidelberg, Germany, and to this week’s contributors to this column: Mary Campbell; Tom, Petra and Maya Casarez; Bob Gambert; Lew Harrison; Wayne Henry; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; David Kuik; John and Renee Kulick; Tim Lynch; John and Patty Marsh; Dave Miller; Phillip and Janice Schneider; Nancy Shawley and Ed Whitworth.
Miscellaneous notes about this week’s Volksmarch events:
Members of the Wanderfreunde Miesau host their annual walk Saturday and Sunday in the town of Bruchmühlbach, Germany. This is a very close walk for folks in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. Just head down B40 and you’ll find signs to the walk.The three walks listed in Belgium this weekend are fairly close together. Neuville-en-Condroz, site of the American Cemetery, is only about 15 miles from Wanze and about 45 miles from Plombieres. If you wanted to try to do all three in one day, remember the Neuville-en- Condroz walk is on Saturday only.Finally, some notes from Clark Soeldner, our Italian walking guru:
“I did the first edition of the Ragogna walk in 2002 and really enjoyed it. Parking hint: arrive early, turn at the first monument and take the first right down into the Municipio. If the front parking is full, try around the back. The 4K is modified for the disabled. All trails begin at the Parco Festeggiamenti di San Giacomo.
“The central sports complex on Via Asmara is the Jesolo start location.”
Have you enjoyed a good volksmarch lately? Write the Huffakers and tell them why you liked it. Also, please e-mail your volksmarch information for any country to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mail brochures, in date order if possible, to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.