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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

The walk this weekend in Oettingen, Germany, looks like it has a lot to offer. Ramona Kechelen, a loyal reader, sent a note calling the route “a great trail.” She adds, “Anyone from the Ansbach, Illesheim, Grafenwöhr, Vilseck, Hohenfels, Schweinfurt, Bamberg or Stuttgart areas should consider coming to this one!”

Oettingen is on the rim of a 25k-diameter meteorite crater! That must provide some interesting terrain. Again this year, the prize is a B-medal. Start time for both days is between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. The finish time is 4 p.m. both days.

There are several other interesting places to visit in the area, including Nördlingen, just 15 kilometers away. Thirty kilometers away is Dinkelsbühl, a walled city similar to Rothenburg. A few years ago we saw a package deal advertised in Stars and Stripes for a getaway weekend in Dinkelsbühl, and we had a great time there. We enjoyed making the rounds of the city with the night watchman, who was dressed in medieval garb. The article in the Jan. 10 Travel section describing the night watchman of Rothenburg ob der Tauber made him sound very similar to the Dinkelsbühl watchman. Unfortunately, with this being winter, the watchmen won’t be guarding the cities this weekend. You’ll have to return in warmer weather for this tour.

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Kelmis, Belgium and Oirsbeek, Netherlands, after-action reports: Another weekend of mild weather in January contributed to two more nice walks. Kelmis was a bit difficult to find and a few more signs guiding us toward the town would have been nice. Once we were there, we found the trail well marked.

We were happy when a gentleman approached us at the first control point and asked if we wrote this column. He introduced himself as Doug and said he had never heard of Volksmarching before arriving in Europe less than two months ago. The Kelmis walk was his sixth, and he was looking forward to the 82nd Airborne walk in February as well as the Nijmegen walks this summer. Sounds as though he has his goals set for this year and is pursuing them. Good luck, Doug! Hope to see you on the trails again.

Sunday in Oirsbeek was another enjoyable walk. The wind was pretty strong and there was light rain when we started, but it wasn’t too bad. We always like the Oirsbeek walk because it is so close by and takes us through familiar countryside. We also enjoy looking at the older buildings, some of which date to the 1700s.

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Notes about this week’s events:

This weekend’s walk in Hallerndorf looks close to Bamberg. They are offering a tealight candle holder as the prize.Volksmarchers in the Eifel, Baumholder and Kaiserslautern, Germany, areas have the opportunity to attend a close walk this weekend at Kleinich. The Verbandsgemeinde Bernkastel-Kues holds its 32nd anniversary walk each day beginning at 8 a.m. The club has no awards this year. Visit the town of Bernkastel- Kues while you’re in the area.Marchers on the walk at Forstfeld, France, may want to visit Soufflenheim, a town known for its earth-colored pottery. After walking Forstfeld’s 10k trail on Sunday, visit the shops and look for the pottery displays. We saw some of this pottery at the Spangdahlem Bazaar last fall and really liked it.To get to the start of the walk at Povolaro di Dueville, Italy, exit A-31 at Dueville and take the SS248 south for about two kilometers.The walk at Vallenoncello, Italy, is pretty flat on a mix of asphalt and gravel.The town of Chiesanuova, Italy, is just off the SS11 on the west side of Padua.E-mail Volksmarch schedule 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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