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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

Christmas markets are opening across Europe, and some are incorporating Volksmarches into the festivities. This Saturday, clubs around Colmar and Haguenau, France, are offering evening walks through the cities, which will be resplendent with Christmas decorations.

Our experiences with French Christmas markets have shown that instead of one large shopping area, as is sometimes seen in Germany, the French will have booths for vendors set up at several city squares. This works out nicely because you can walk between the squares and see the sights of the city.

So after you have a fresh crépe at one square, you can walk it off on the way to the next square, where you can have a fresh waffle. Don’t forget to wash these goodies down with some warm Glühwein. The Colmar walk starts between 3 and 9 p.m. and closes at 11 p.m. The Haguenau walk starts between 3 and 8 p.m. and closes at 10.

Two things to keep in mind: the more presents you buy, the more you have to carry on the walk. Also, make sure you get back before the start hall closes, so you can get IVV credit.

The city of Thionville, France, is also having an evening “illumination” walk Saturday, but we don’t see any reference to a Christmas market.


For the people in the Bitburg and Spangdahlem, Germany, area, why not try the nearby walk in Landscheid on Sunday? You can start the 5- and 10-kilometer routes between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and still have time to zip down to Trier for its fabulous Christmas market. There is no prize for participating in the Volksmarch, but the market will be quite a treat.


Here’s a reminder to pencil in the 14th annual Metz Illuminée in Metz, France, on Dec. 9 on your calendar. This is a “must” walk. The 10k march will wind through the historic part of the city as well as through several Metz Christmas markets. The start location is the Complexe Sportif Saint-Symphorien, and walkers can start the trail between 3 and 8:30 p.m. More to come in next week’s column.


Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:

¶ Volksmarchers who live in or close to Kaiserslautern, Germany, should consider joining the 37th Nikolauswanderung this weekend at Hüttigweiler. After the walk north of Saarbrücken, you can pick up this year’s edition of the club’s annual ceramic Christmas plate. The club is also offering plates from previous years. Start times for the 5-, 10- and 20-kilometer courses are Saturday, 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. The finish for both days is 4 p.m.

¶ The Neustadt, Germany, Volksmarching event starts at the Turn- und Sporthalle on Emil-Rössler-Strasse 2, near the ERGEE-Gelände. The 6- and 11-kilometer trails start between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday (finish by 4 p.m.). The club is offering B medals this year, but last year’s prize was a 5-inch snowman tea light candle holder, so you might be able to pick up one of them. If you plan to take children to the walk, consider being at the start at 11 a.m., because St. Nikolaus will make an appearance.

¶ B-medals are also being offered in Teunz, Germany. A nativity scene snow globe, featuring the holy family in the globe and the Three Kings on the base, was the medal last year. With any luck, you’ll be able to pick one up this year. The two trails (5k and 10k) start noon to 2 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to noon Sunday. Saturday’s finish time is 4 p.m.; Sunday’s is 3 p.m. Children with a valid start card will receive a free gift from St. Nikolaus.

¶ The prize at the Münchwald, Germany, walk is a ceramic nativity scene.

¶ At Ketsch am Rhein, the prize is a scarf with a pendant. It looks like there is an edelweiss design on each, but the designs might vary. This is a Sunday-only walk, with start times for the 5k and 10k routes between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. and the 20k between 7 a.m. and noon.

¶ Sunday’s 5- and 10-kilometer walks in Reutlingen, Germany, begin at the Fachhochschule Mensa Hohbuch beim Kreuzeichestadion Reutlingen. To reach the start, follow B28 toward Reutlingen- Tübingen and take the Knoten Hohbuch exit. Follow IVV signs from there.

¶ Notes on walks in Italy: The last of the three Pinzano walks for the year takes place Sunday in Colle di Pinzano al Tagliamento. Although it is in the mountains, the grades are fairly mild. There is a small fest at the end, so food is available. It’s best to arrive early, because this is a very small town and parking tends to be “inventive.” From Pinzano, take the road toward Vito d’Asio. Just past Campais, look for the sharp turn to the right.

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 Please mail brochures, in date order if possible, to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.

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