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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

Regarded by American walkers as one of Germany’s most popular Volksmarches, the annual Rothenburg ob der Tauber walking weekend is Feb. 24-25.

Walk the 6- and 11-kilometer paths from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. A 20k also will be held Saturday, 7 a.m. to noon and again on Sunday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The 11k old-city walk is a Saturday-only event starting between noon and 5 p.m. If you want another choice, there is a 12k permanent trail. If transportation is a problem, the start hall is a five-minute walk from the train station.

The prize? This year, for the first time in a long time, there is none. However, there will be a selection of prizes from previous years available. For the past five years, these have been beautiful mugs with colorful pictures of scenes from around Rothenburg.

Start gathering fellow marchers now, reserve a bus and don’t miss this event. Watch for more information in the coming weeks.

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Bingelrade, Netherlands, after-action report: Since this was not an IVV-sanctioned walk, it slipped under our radar screen. We heard about the walk only a couple of days in advance, but since Bingelrade is only a kilometer away, we had to do this walk.

All the recent rain had us wondering about mud and the prospect of getting soaked, but the day was clear, dry and beautiful. Most of the trail was on bike/walking paths so there was little mud to contend with. The route took us back past our little village, across the border into Germany and along the perimeter of a wild animal park. We passed the old stone border markers and an old mill and crossed back into the Netherlands. Then it was up the hill behind Bingelrade, where we could see well into Germany and noticed the big three-bladed wind turbines that are popping up in the area.

Even though this was not an IVV event, the local IVV representative was at the finish and we were able to buy a 2007 IVV calendar of events. We also picked up a flier for a permanent walk just south of Aachen, Germany, so we hope to have a report on it soon.

Overall, this was a great walk that allowed us to explore our local area.

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If one of your goals for 2007 is to complete three Volksmarches in one day, start planning for May 18. The neighboring towns of Dankmarshausen, Heringen and Wölfer- shausen, Germany, have coordinated their walks so that the start times are staggered, allowing the walks to be completed in sequence. Each town is offering a 5- or 10-kilometer walk. As a bonus, the town of Heringen is holding a swimming event after the walks. It is possible to get four IVV event stamps in one day. More information on these events as the date nears.

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Kudos to these folks who contributed fliers for this week’s column: Mary Campbell; Tom, Petra and Maya Casarez; Bob Gambert; Wayne Henry; Jan and John Jensen; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; James Kelly; Tim and Luchi Lynch; Dawn St. John; and Nancy Shawley.

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Notes about this week’s events:

• The walk in Oirsbeek, Netherlands, is being touted as a warm-up for the 80-kilometer Kennedy walk coming up in March. Is an 80k walk one of your goals for this year?

• A folding knife/fork/corkscrew is the souvenir this weekend at Seibersbach, Germany. Start the 5- or 10-kilometer trails between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or the 20k route on both days between 8 a.m. and noon. Finish the walks by 5 p.m. For more information, check out the club’s Web site at www.wanderfreunde- seibersbach.de.

• The prize for the walk in Flacht is an 8-inch-tall ceramic rooster.

• The prize for completing the walk in Freiamt is a covered butter dish. Note the start time is between 2 and 7 p.m. You must finish by 9 p.m. This is a torch walk also.

• If you finish the Volksmarch in Lisberg, you will receive a tea light candle in the shape of a snail and a flower.

• The walk in Schinnen, Netherlands, next week (Feb. 4) is not an IVV walk, but will be a great opportunity for the people in the tri-border area to explore their own “back yard.”

Clark Soeldner’s Italian walking notes:

• The maximum time for the Cordenons walk is four hours, but it is a flat, easy walk. Each year organizers change the shape of the silver medal. In the past, along the 21k route, they have set up a grill for cooking pancetta for small sandwiches. They are really good. It is usually cold, so be prepared.

• The Cornedo Vicentino flier notes the route is mixed with hills.

• The start for the Ruda walk is next to the Area Ricreatorio Don Valeriano Lepre.


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