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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

Well, folks, the weekend we have been waiting for is here. The annual Rothenburg ob der Tauber walk has arrived.

Chances are that as you are reading this, we are on our way to Rothenburg, the best-known walled city in Germany. We plan to walk the permanent trail Friday and then join the crowd Saturday for both the morning and afternoon walks.

The Rothenburg club will have 6-, 11- and 20-kilometer courses outside the city on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as the 17th annual 11-kilometer old city walk on Saturday afternoon that will wind Volksmarchers through the streets of Rothenburg.

If you have done these marches in Rothenburg, you can still walk the permanent trail, so really, there is no reason not to go. Don’t be put off by the fact that the club is offering B-medals this year; its mugs from the past have been absolutely beautiful! They are great souvenirs of Germany.

The start is in the sport hall and there will be food, music, vendors and a lot of Volksmarchers. The start hall will be slightly different this year: There will be no smoking allowed in the sports hall, so that’s good for all of us.

There are some very unusual sights in and around Rothenburg. In March 1945, Rothenburg was bombed and about 40 percent of the city was destroyed. It is remarkable how it has been rebuilt and restored. There are several towers and gates in and around the city. One of the most famous is the Plönlein and Siebersturm.

The city is usually lit up at night for some impressive sights of the old city. One of our favorites is St. Jacob’s Church. Inside is one of the huge, ornately carved altars made by master sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider in about the year 1500. Mostly known for his work in wood, Riemenschneider also sculpted alabaster, sandstone and marble. He is considered one of the great artists of the late Middle Ages.

Start times are 7 a.m. until noon Saturday for the 6-, 11- and 20-kilometer courses, and noon until 5 p.m. for the city walk. Sunday’s times are 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. for the 6k and 11k marches, and 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. for the 20k. There also will be 6- and 11-kilometer Young Walker’s Tours that will use the same routes and starting cards.

The cobblestone streets in the city can be hard on the feet, so wear good walking shoes. They might be jarring for anyone riding in a stroller, so you might want to carry the little one for a while if it gets too rough. The trails can be pretty slick in places if it is a frosty morning, so watch your footing. The start hall can get very crowded, and a small dog might get tripped over, so if you’re walking with a dog, try to get there early to beat the crowd.

Another tip is to buy your food and drink coupons before you walk. Once you’ve walked and worked up that appetite and thirst, you can go directly to the food and drink areas without having to stand in line for tickets.

Rothenburg is easily reached by way of Autobahn 7 and is near the intersection of A6 and A7. Exit the autobahn, follow the main road into the city and at the first traffic light you should see an Aral gas station and an Opel car dealer. Make a left at this intersection; the start hall is on the right, near the soccer field. No car? No problem! The start hall is only a five-minute walk from the train station.

Whether you choose to walk the trails outside this city or the Saturday old town walk within, plan to spend some part of your weekend in Rothenburg, the most well-known walled city in Germany.


A tip of the old fedora to the hard-working folks who still manage to send us fliers. This week’s contributors are: Bob Gambert; Wayne Henry; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; Tim and Luchi Lynch; “Pat” Patterson; Mary Jo Piccin; the Reynozo Clan; Dawn St. John; Nancy Shawley; Regina Tiedermann; Jose Valdez; Jennifer West; and Ed Whitworth.


Notes about this week’s events:

• The Wanderclub Starke Sohle e.V. Idar Oberstein, Germany, hosts its 24th Volksmarch this weekend in the town of Weierbach beginning at the Hessenstein Halle. The 6k and 10k start from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. If you’re up to a 20-kilometer trail, begin between 7:30 and 1 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to noon Sunday. The club is offering its traditional stone souvenir for completing a trail; this year it is a vase.

• If you are still looking for a torch walk, Kelheim, Germany, is having one Saturday. Start between 4 and 6 p.m. and finish by 8.

• The Belgian town of Ittre is only about 10 miles from Waterloo. After you complete the walk there, why not visit the battlefield and museums?

• The prize for completing the walk in Haisterkirch, Germany, is a ceramic jar with a cow design and a little scoop. It looks like an excellent sugar or coffee container.

Notes from Clark Soeldner, our Italian walking expert:

• “I’ve done the Borso del Grappa event three times and always enjoyed it. If the course is the same, it will be serious mountain trails for the longer walks.

• “The prize at the Calusco d’Adda walk is a cosmetic and sport item for the first 1,800 participants.

• “Parts of the Fanna walk are usually on very steep mountain trails. If it has been raining, the mud can be incredible. A few years ago, one member of our group lost a shoe in the mud and never did find it! This is a small but very friendly event.

• “A flier for the Ponteranica walk notes that the walk is in the hills. This is probably an understatement.”

Please e-mail Volksmarch schedule information for any country to two. By conventional mail, send brochures (in date order if possible) to: Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.


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