March 20, 2008
Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.
This is Easter weekend, and while there are only a few walks Sunday, there are many on Friday, Saturday, Monday and even a couple next Wednesday. With the weather getting nicer, this could be an excellent weekend for Volksmarching.
Several walks are close to military communities. If you are off work Friday, the walks in St. Wendel and Urexweiler are about eight miles apart and only some 30 miles from Ramstein, Germany. The five-kilometer route in Urexweiler is described as family friendly, and the short route in St. Wendel is through the city. Both sound like good options for taking the kids along.
On Monday, the walk in Bischofsdhron, about 25 miles north of Baumholder, has a 5k route that is stroller friendly and has an Easter Bunny at the control point.
Tim and Luchi Lynch have told us about the Wednesday Volksmarch in St. Julian, which is about 45 minutes north of the Kaiserslautern and Ramstein area, and close to Baumholder. They say the folks in St. Julian have always had nice trails and are some of the friendliest people that they have met at Volksmarches. Even if you have to work on Wednesday, you still have time to do this walk. The five- and 10-kilometer trails can be started until 6 p.m. and the course closes at 8 p.m. The prize is a B-medal beer mug at the reduced price of 3 euros.
Last year, Tina Kracke sent us an article she wrote for the Heidelberg International Wandering Club’s newsletter about the 20-kilometer route she walked in Kirn-Sulzbach, Germany. We don’t have the space to repeat the article, but let it suffice to say that she was very impressed by the hills on the route. Keep in mind that clubs often vary their routes from year to year, so it might not be as daunting as last year.
Tina wrote, “we began switchbacks up what initially appeared to be a gentle hill that gradually morphed into what felt like the Himalayas. We would gaze up into what we thought might be the crest of the hill and the horizon, only to turn again onto another mountain goat track with no end in sight. Upward and onward we dragged ourselves.”
If you like hills and a challenging workout, this is the walk for you. If you decide to do the 20k trail, keep an eye out for Tina. Kirn-Sulzbach is about 18 miles north of Baumholder.
For those near Wiesbaden, tomorrow’s walk in Ohren is just 18 miles to the north. There is no prize, but the long start window offers a whole day of walking.
Farther to the east, the walk in Eggolsheim is about 12 miles south of Bamberg. The prize is a hanging tealight holder; a B- medal is also available at only 2 euros.
The state of Alabama wants to get its citizens out walking more and feels that a program similar to Volksmarching is the way to do it. Since a few people from the governor’s office were attending a conference in Berlin, they wanted to do a couple of Volksmarches in Germany to get a better understanding of the sport. After several weeks of coordinating, we met the group on the night of March 7. Paula Murphy, Grey Brennan and his wife, Paula, drove from Berlin and met us at Hotel Montana in Limburg an der Lahn. Joining us were “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson, two true ambassadors for Volksmarching. We enjoyed dinner in Limburg’s downtown pedestrian area and agreed to an early start on Saturday for a day of walking.
We started with the 11k permanent walk in Limburg. When we arrived at the Nassauer Hof hotel to start the walk, we were met by Nancy Shawley. Soon the eight of us were walking past the cathedral and other beautiful buildings in Limburg. The trail led outside the city, through the town of Dietkirchen and back along the Lahn River.
After getting our books stamped, we bade farewell to Nancy and drove the half-hour to Ötzingen to walk their regular Volksmarch. We all decided to take the shorter five-kilometer walk in the afternoon. (All except Pat, who did the 10k route in the same time the rest of us did 5!) When we finished, we got our books stamped, picked up our B-medals and headed for the food.
We thoroughly enjoyed walking, talking and sharing ideas with these enthusiastic people who are determined to spread the benefits of Volksmarching across Alabama. We wish them the best of luck.
The Ramstein Roadrunners’ monthly membership meeting has been moved to the third Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit the Ramstein Roadrunners' Web site.
It’s not too late to plan your trip to Lisse, Netherlands, for its walk on April 5. Your start card will allow you to enter the world-famous Keukenhof gardens. Here is a chance to beat the summer crowds and avoid the entrance fee. More details next week.
Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:
There are three walks in Luxembourg over the next few days. If you have not done a Volksmarch in Luxembourg, you need to place one high on your list. Vianden has a lovely castle and the hills and forests are beautiful.The afternoon start for the walk in Colfrancui di Oderzo, Italy, allows for two walks in Italy in one day. Try to start this walk as early as possible.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.