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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

Italy gets top billing this week with Sunday’s Volksmarch in Aviano. According to our Italy connection, Clark Soeldner, this year’s walk, hosted by the Aviano Roadrunners, is the 31st edition of the Madonna del Monte (Madonna of the Mountain) walk. He says the 7-kilometer trail is stroller friendly and suitable for families. The 14k and 21k routes are on mountain trails and go by the “Silver- Dome” Church.

If you can attend this walk, please do so. It’s a chance to return the friendliness and goodwill found throughout the year at the many Italian walks. Last year, there were more than 500 walkers. Here’s wishing the club a successful walk again this year.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that you had to pre-register for Sunday’s Vedelago 42K marathon. This event starts in Vedelago, and follows the route of Saint Antonio, finishing in Padua, at the largest piazza in Europe.

Run or walk, you have eight hours to complete this trail. Clark says: “I’ve done this marathon … and these folks went all out. They have “restoros” every five kilometers and sponging stations in between. Even five or six hours into the race you will find people along the route to cheer you on. See www.maratonasant-antonio.com for full information (in English) and online signups.

Clark adds that April 25 is an Italian holiday, so there will be walks offered on Wednesday.

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The Ramstein Roadrunners are looking for volunteers to help with the club’s walk on May 5 and 6. There is a lot of work associated with any Volksmarch, but with a big, popular walk like those hosted by the Roadrunners, there is even more.

The key is getting a lot of people to pitch in. If you can help by donating a few hours, please contact Judy Kintz at: Judy. Kintz@us.army.mil.

Those volunteering during the Volksmarch can earn IVV stamps by attending the “workers walk” on Sunday, April 29, at 1 p.m.

You also can help by donating baked goods after 1 p.m. Friday, May 4, or as late as the morning of May 6. Judy Kintz is coordinating these donations also, so contact her with further questions.

By the way, some early fliers for the Ramstein walk have the incorrect time for the walk to end. The correct time is 5 p.m.

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This weekend’s history-related walk is in Stavelot, Belgium, a scene of heavy fighting during the Battle of the Bulge. After the walk in Stavelot, visit the museum in Poteau, Belgium. Only about 12 miles southeast of Stavelot, Poteau was also the scene of heavy fighting as this tiny, but important, crossroads changed hands several times. We recommend the museum there. It recently expanded and has several World War II vehicles — most in working condition.

If there are enough people interested, the owner will fire up one of the authentic half-tracks and give a battlefield tour. There is an extra fee for the ride, but I (Bob) thought it was well worth it. The museum has an excellent multilanguage Web site at: www.museum-poteau44.be, where you can find opening hours, dates, directions and lots of “then and now” pictures.

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If you want to take one of the prettiest walks we have ever done, go to Consdorf, Luxembourg, this Sunday and find out why the area is called “Little Switzerland.” It is not just the hills, but also the caves and rock formations that make this a unique walk.

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Hats off to the Ramstein library staff for hosting the April 2 Volksmarch 101 class. We hear that quite a few people attended.

A tip of the hat also to the Heidelberg International Wandering Club for hosting a Kiddies Volksmarch on April 28 at Patrick Henry Village. More specifics will follow next week. Until then, you can contact Rob Floyd via email at: hiwc@yahoo.com.

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Thanks to the following people for sending the flyers that make this column possible: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Manfred Dahl; Bob Gambert; Michael Gdowski; Lew Harrison; Egon Hatfield; Wayne Henry; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; James Kelly; David Kuik; Tim and Luchi Lynch; John and Patty Marsh; Pat Patterson; Mary Jo Piccin; Dawn St. John; Nancy Shawley; Jose Valdez; and Ed Whitworth.

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Notes about this week’s events:

• Saturday’s walk in Donk, Belgium, is a “Pancake Walk,” with pancakes on sale, two for 1 euro.

• The AWO-Behindertenwerkstatt is the start location for the Netphen-Deuz, Germany, event.

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E-mail volksmarch information to two.walkers@yahoo.com. Mail brochures to: Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.


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