October 25, 2007
Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.
Don’t forget that daylight-saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday — one week earlier than in the States. Be sure to set your clocks back one hour before going to bed Saturday night, then get up early to enjoy the extra hour of walking.
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One of our favorite walks is this weekend. The Schnelle Füße Koblenz e.V. hosts five walking trails Saturday and Sunday, and then it throws in a bike route and a swimming event.
Starting from the Sporthalle in the town of Karthause, marchers can begin the 5-, 10- and 20-kilometer trails both days between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.; the start window is the same for bikers who are hitting the 25-kilometer course. Swimmers can start at 10 a.m. and must finish by 6 p.m. The distance for the swim was not listed.
The prize for completing these courses is a model semi-trailer beer truck.
By the way, Nordic walkers are definitely welcome in Karthause. The club also sponsors 42- and 50-kilometer trails each day. The 42k starts between 7 and 9 a.m.; the 50k between 7 and 8 a.m. The souvenir patch for completing either route depicts a view of the Rhine River from above a castle.
After you’ve finished your Volksmarch, don’t miss visiting the Ehrenbreitstein, Europe’s largest fortress. Set above Koblenz, it offers a commanding (and memorable) view of the old town as well as the Deutsches Eck (the German Corner), a memorial to German unity, where the Rhein and Mosel rivers converge.
Another one of our favorite walks is in Gulpen, Netherlands, this Sunday. The walking club De Veldlopers from Gulpen is hosting its 45th Kastelenwandeltocht. You can start the 5- and 10-kilometer routes between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., the 15- and 20-kilometer routes between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., and the 35-kilometer route between 8 and 10 a.m. Expect plenty of hills in this area of the Netherlands; in fact, one of our standing jokes is that “Gulpen” is Dutch for hills.
The start hall is at the Café Paddock on Dorpstraat. This is a busy street in the middle of town, so the earlier you get there, the easier it will be to find a parking place close to the start.
This Saturday’s walk in Bellevaux, Belgium, should be another nice one. The sponsors hosted a walk a few weeks ago that we thoroughly enjoyed. We are surprised to see them holding another event so soon, but we are not complaining.
Bellevaux is in the Ardennes near Malmédy, Belgium, and is a short drive for those in the Eifel region of Germany, or in the Tri-border area. If it weren’t for the great Koblenz-Karthause walk, we’d probably visit Bellevaux again Saturday.
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Folks in the Kaiserslautern and Baumholder military communities can enjoy the Kindsbach, Germany, event this weekend. It begins in the Mehrzweckhalle near the train station. The 5-, 10- and 20-kilometer walks begin 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday; finishing times are 5 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. The prize appears to be a ceramic water pitcher.
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After-action report: Welkenraedt and Battice, Belgium. These walks, about 15 kilometers apart, gave us the opportunity to complete two events in one day. Saturday, Oct. 13, was a beautiful day and the weather was perfect for walking. We really enjoyed the fall colors on the trees, or in the word of our favorite tiger, Hobbes, “The trees are like nature’s own fireworks display.” We love the cooler temperatures, but it did warm up during the walks.
We enjoyed an unusual treat after the first walk. There were people at the Welkenraedt start hall selling goat cheese and freshly baked bread. There were about a dozen varieties of cheeses, but we settled on one that was rolled in four different kinds of peppers and another rolled in sun-dried tomatoes. Along with a fresh loaf of bread, we could hardly wait to get home to try them.
But we also wanted to walk at Battice. Again this year we were disappointed that the Battice walk did not take us to the fortress, but we did get a couple of glimpses of different casemates. This walk had a wheelchair route, but we could not imagine trying to navigate a wheelchair down the steep kilometer-long downhill grade and it’s equally steep grade uphill.
All told, it was an excellent day of walking in Belgium.
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High-fives to the following, who found the time to mail us fliers for upcoming walks: Theresia Fontaine, Lew Harrison, Wayne Henry, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, Tim and Luchi Lynch, Pat Patterson and Nancy Shawley.
We’d like to send get-well wishes to frequent contributor and avid Volksmarcher Bob Gambert. Hope to see you on the trails again soon.
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Note: The prize at the Rottweil walk is a stuffed dog that looks like a Rottweiler.
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Notes from Clark Soeldner, our Italian walking expert:
• The walk in Magnano in Riviera has a theme of chestnuts and everyone with a start card will receive a small bag of roasted chestnuts at the end.
• At Sandrigo, the 6k and 11k routes will be through the fields. The 22k trail will be in the hills.
E-mail Volksmarch schedule information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.