Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.
Happy New Year, everybody! We hope your year is off to a great start and that you have plenty of Volksmarches in store this year! If you keep the fliers coming our way, we will provide you with plenty of options for your weekends of walking. Remember, set a reasonable goal for your walks for 2008, and get out there and attack that goal one walk or one weekend at a time. You’ve got a year to reach your goal … good luck!
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This Saturday is the annual Paris walk. We did not receive a flier for this event, but we did get a Web page from walker Wayne Henry. For information on this walk, as well as the club’s other events this year, visit www. godillot-familial.com.
This walk is unique for several reasons. First is the fact that you get to tour one of the most famous cities in the world. The sights are too numerous to list, but one of the control points is near the Eiffel Tower.
Second, the walk starts in the afternoon so you’ll be seeing the city after dark when it’s lit with holiday lights. Paris’ nickname, “City of Light,” will be especially true during this walk. When you are near the Eiffel Tower, watch for the twinkling lights that illuminate the tower for about 30 seconds every few minutes.
Third, the shorter 14-kilometer route does not take you back to the start hall. It ends at the Paris Hotel de Ville. If you want to get IVV credit, you have to go back to the start hall at the Halle George Carpentier. The good news is that there is a nearby metro station that will take you back to the start. Whether you walk the entire 20 kilometers or just 14, make sure you are back to the start hall before they close at 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
If you travel by metro, take the Porte d’Ivry stop for the start hall. By car, exit the Paris Péri- phérique at Porte d’Italie. We have always used the metro to get to the start and based on the number of people who attend this walk, parking might be a challenge. We think this is a walk that all serious Volksmarchers need to do at least once while in Europe. Make sure you dress warmly and take the camera!
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Upcoming walks to note:
• Feb. 23, Noire Fontaine Farm, Belgium: The Belgian Ardennes Chapter of the C-47 Club is hosting their annual “In the Footsteps of the 82nd Airborne Division” 22-kilometer walk. If you enjoy historical walks, here’s another one for you. You will see a lot of re-enactors and WWII era vehicles. This walk is farther north in the Ardennes than Bastogne, so the terrain is much hillier. Based on experience, we can say this trail will not be stroller friendly.
• Feb. 23 and 24, Rothenburg ob der Tauber: One of the most enchanting cities in Germany is hosting a weekend of excellent Volksmarching. Mark it on your calendars now and plan on attending. Just as Paris is a must- see city, so is Rothenburg. Both places can be addicting — if you go once, chances are you’ll want to go back.
• April 5, Lisse, Netherlands: The start card allows free entry to the Keukenhof Botanical Gardens. This is undoubtedly one of the prettiest botanical gardens in the world, and this is a good time to visit because it is before the peak in tourism. It will still be busy, but not like it is in the height of the visitor season.
We will provide more information on these walks as they get closer and as more fliers and facts roll in. If your club is hosting a walk, please let us know well in advance so we can “talk it up” for you. We need an absolute minimum of two weeks notice to meet our publication deadlines. This also applies to any upcoming walks that you consider exceptional. Let us know why you think it is great, and we will share your enthusiasm with your fellow readers. Drop us a few lines at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Our special thanks to all who have contributed fliers in 2007. They include S. Alderson; Mary Campbell; William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Tom, Petra and Maya Casarez; William Collins; Manfred Dahl; Theresia Fontaine; Bob Gambert; Michael Gdowski; Lew Harrison; Egon Hatfield; Wayne Henry; Jan and John Jensen; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; James Kelly; David Kuik; Diane Lockman; Tim and Luchi Lynch; John and Patty Marsh; Dave Miller; Pat Patterson; Mary Jo Piccin; the Reynozo family; Dawn St. John; Nancy Shawley; Jose Valdez; and Ed Whitworth.
An additional tip of the hat to Clark Soeldner for all his information on the walks in Italy.
And thanks to all of you who sent us holiday cards! We loved reading your notes and letters.
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Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s Volksmarch events:
• The prize for completing the walk at Hünsborn, Germany, is a set of figures for a Nativity scene.
• Lahm-Itzgrund is close to the Schweinfurt and Bamberg communities, so why not enjoy their walk and pick up the beer mug prize? These kinds of mugs are rarely offered at Volksmarches anymore.
• The walk in Heimenkirch is advertised as stroller friendly, but they also caution walkers about the possibility of ice on the trail. Ice is common at this time of year, so be careful wherever you walk. Slow down as you drive to the walks as well.
• If you’re off to Allersberg this weekend for the walk, make sure you pick up their unique prize of a model of an old sailing ship.
• Clark Soeldner, our aforementioned expert in Italian walks, tells us the one in Bevilacqua will award 700 grams of mushrooms to the first 400 walkers.
The walk in Fondo, Italy, is a snowshoe walk, with snowshoes available for rent. A free shuttle bus will take you to the town of Romeno where the walk starts. You finish seven kilometers later in the town of Fondo. You have to sign up for this walk today or tomorrow (Jan. 3 or 4). More information is available at www.ciaspolada.it and at the tourist office by calling 0039-0463- 830180.
E-mail Volksmarch schedule information to email@example.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.