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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

Live from Rothenburg! It’s Saturday night!

Well, Saturday afternoon, actually, at the annual Volksmarch held in and around the popular walled city.

Live music by Otto is playing in the start hall, and the familiar tune “The Happy Wanderer” fills the air. The Old City Walk has just started and the crowd has thinned a bit, but members of the Heidelberg International Wandering Club seated nearby sound like they’re having a great time.

And we have been, too. We walked the permanent trail Friday, the morning walk Saturday a.m. and are about to begin the Old City Walk. We visited the Rathaus after the morning walk and climbed the stairs to the tiny observation deck. The steps get steeper and narrower as you near the top. They finally lead to a small hatch onto the observation deck, so this is not a climb for just anyone.

After that, we made a quick trip to the town of Detwang to see the Tilman Riemenschneider altar in its tiny church. We saw his other works in the Franciscan Church and in St. Jacob’s Church in Rothenburg as well. His altar at St. Jacob’s is beautiful and in amazing condition for being more than 500 years old.

Rothenburg’s 12-kilometer permanent trail starts at the Hotel-Gasthaus zur Post, where we got our start cards and a printed description, in German, of the route. There were three control points where we had to record a letter and/or number combination on our start card. In addition to some steep uphills and downhills, there was at least one place that had steps, so we would not call this trail stroller-friendly.

About seven kilometers into the walk, we crested a hill and got our first panoramic view of Rothenburg’s old city. This view was from about the same level as the city, but across the lower Tauber Valley lying between us and the city. About a kilometer farther, we had our second panoramic view from a slightly different angle and a bit closer. This second viewpoint had a table with benches where we could sit, take a break and have a picnic lunch, if we had brought one. Since it was raining on and off, we just kept on walking.

The next notable viewpoint came from down in the Tauber Valley just before we crossed the old Roman bridge. This view was from below the city looking up at the walls and rooftops. Once across the double bridge, the route looped under the bridge and past the Kobolzeller Church, built in the late 1400s.

Then we began the trail up out of the valley, around the outside walls of the city and back to the Hotel-Gasthaus zur Post. After getting our IVV books stamped, we had lunch at the Gasthaus and then went off to explore the city. By now the skies had cleared and the rest of the day was beautiful.

We enjoyed visiting Saturday with a lot of die-hard Volksmarchers, including Pat Patterson, Dave Miller, Rob and Cath Floyd, and the Reynozo family. As we left Sunday morning, it was raining fairly hard, so we hope the Sunday walkers didn’t get too wet.

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Jim Zoschenko suggested that when we list a town’s name in the chart that we also list the postal code. He states that it makes it easier when using mapping or navigational software to eliminate towns with similar names. Our editor asked how wide the use of mapping or navigational software is in the Volksmarch community, and we didn’t have a good answer. Rather than taking a wild guess, we’ll put the question to you, the readers. Let us know if you think that listing postal codes would be a benefit. Send a note to two.walkers@yahoo.com. Thanks, Jim, for the suggestion.

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The Ansbach German-American Wanderclub invites everyone to participate in its annual Ansbach Community German- American Friendship Volksmarch this weekend. The trails are five, 10 and 20 kilometers, and you can start between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. both days. You must finish by 5 p.m. B-medals will be available while quantities last.

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Thanks to our fellow walkers for sending in brochures, all in date order! Here’s the list: Bob Gambert, Wayne Henry, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, Tim and Luchi Lynch, Pat Patterson, Mary Jo Piccin, the Reynozo family, Dawn St. John, Nancy Shawley and Ed Whitworth.

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Notes about this week’s events:

• A popular event each year in the Kaiserslautern, Germany, locale is the one in Queidersbach. Only B medals are available, while quantities last, but perhaps you can get one of their leftover Weizenbier glasses from a couple of years ago.

• We are not sure whose idea it was for the towns of Lauterbach and Lauterach to have their walks on the same weekend, as it could be a bit confusing. They are about 200 miles apart, so make sure you’re heading toward the right one.

A note from Clark Soeldner, our Italian walking expert: The Vittorio Veneto to Treviso Marathon is March 25. The cutoff date for registration is March 15. Go to www.trevisomarathon.com for information in both Italian and English.

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 two.walkers@yahoo.com. 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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