Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.
The Famille Lorraine de Metz-Borny holds its 15th Annual Metz Illuminée on Saturday. There are several walks that come around each year that are classified as “must-do” events. The Metz Illuminée is one.
For the past few years, more than 11,000 marchers have participated on this one evening … and those are just the folks who purchased start cards. That should give you an idea of the popularity of this walk.
The 10-kilometer route begins at the Complexe Sportif Saint Symphorien, near the Palais des Sports, and winds through many of the city’s historical sites. Start time is between 3 and 8:30 p.m., but try to arrive early as parking will be extremely limited; the club expects 60-70 busloads of Volksmarchers for the event.
Turkey Trot after-action report: Lorraine had to work on Thanksgiving, so I (Bob) made the trip to Ramstein solo. The heavy fog to the north of Ramstein was not a factor, and when I arrived, the start hall was packed with people having a good time.
The mist that fell during the walk was barely noticeable and the temperature was pretty mild. These factors made for an enjoyably easy, yet brisk walk. It was nice to see a lot of families out, complete with strollers and an occasional dog. The grilling wurst at the start hall offered an enticing smell as I neared the walk’s end and, since I had skipped breakfast, it proved to be too hard to ignore. There is nothing like a hot, bratwurst for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, especially after a nice walk.
It was nice to talk with fellow walkers Mike and Pam from the Sunny Coyotes, as well as Tom and Linda and Pat and Cheryl from the Roadrunners.
The call had gone out for volunteers to bring in baked goods for the Roadrunners to sell at the walk and the response was overwhelming. At the end of the day, the unsold goodies were donated to the Wounded Warriors.
The bottom line — the Ramstein Roadrunners have hosted another great walk. Thanks to everyone who helped make it possible: the club members, the other volunteers and the folks who donated baked goods. You all came together to make this Thanksgiving a day to remember.
This Sunday, the walk at Alt-Hürth, Germany, starts next to the Christmas market at the Pfarrheim on Lindenstrasse. With both a Christmas market and a Volksmarch so close to each other, parking might be a challenge, so try to get there early. If the five- or 11-kilometer routes are not enough for you, Alt-Hürth also has permanent IVV trails of seven and 13 kilometers. On Sundays the start for the permanent walks are at Shera’s Bud Kiosk at Weierstrasse 40.
This year’s Bastogne Historical Walk is Dec. 15. Each year the walk visits a different section of the defensive perimeter of Bastogne, and this year it will go west and northwest of the city to the area defended by the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment.
There are three routes from which to choose: seven, 13 and 20 kilometers. There is a fourth route of about 10 kilometers that will go directly to the drop zone where members of the Liberty Jump Team will jump from vintage C47 aircraft. For more on the walk, see http://bastogne. jemesouviens.fr and next week’s column.
A tip of the hat to those who submitted fliers for this week’s column: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro, Manfred Dahl, Wayne Henry, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, Diane Lockman, Tim and Luchi Lynch, Lew Harrison, Pat Patterson, Dawn St. John and Nancy Shawley.
Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:
• This week’s torch walk is in Holthausen, Germany. It starts between 4 and 6 p.m. The prize is a B-medal, but last year organizers gave out a plush snowman figure, so maybe they’ll have more this year.
• It is unusual for a walk to have a finish point that is several blocks away from the start, but that is the case at the walk in Erstein, France. It starts and finishes at the Salle de l’ASC St. Martin and finish at the Salle Herinstein. The walk appears to be through the center of the city, which undoubtedly will be well lit for Christmas. The flier’s map has a lot of “P” symbols for parking near the finish hall.
• A 12-inch-tall “Wintermann” figure is the prize at Göllsdorf, Germany. Saturday’s start window is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (4:30 p.m. finish) and Sunday’s is 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (3:30 p.m. finish).
Notes from Clark Soeldner, our Italian walk expert:
• Saturday is an Italian holiday, so you will have several events from which to choose.
• The prize for the Orgiano walk is a bottle of wine, a jar of honey or another food item. I have done the 30k route a couple of times and give it a five-star rating. It is a pretty walk in the Berici hills.
• At Pordenone, the trails are a combination of mixed asphalt, gravel and fields. Along the longer trails, club members may offer small grilled meat sandwiches called pancetta — probably not good for you, but they taste good!
• Gemona del Friuli hosts an event Sunday beginning near il Centro Sociale di Via Piovega. Take time to look at the church. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1976 and has been rebuilt like a jigsaw puzzle from the rubble. To reach the event, exit A-23 at Gemona, travel north on SS-13 for a short distance and then head right to Piovega.
• The start for the walk in Novanta Padovana is near the Trattoria Tre Portehgi on Via Roma.
• The prize at the Lendinara walk is a bottle of wine for the first 1,000 entrants.