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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

The "must-do" walk this weekend is in Bamberg, Germany, hosted by the Bamberg German-American Wanderclub.

The start is at the Liebenshilfe Bamberg at the intersection of Armeestrasse and Moosstrasse. The distances are six, 10 or 20 kilometers, and you can start the routes between 6 a.m. and noon on both days, with the trails closing at 3 p.m. The award is a cookbook. For the kids, there is a nature quiz and games at the checkpoints with a surprise.

If you live anywhere in the Bamberg area and want to get active in volksmarching, this is the club for you. Join the walk this weekend, meet these folks and you’ll soon be on the trails with an enthusiastic bunch of walkers.

Another walk that looks appealing is in Langscheid, between Oberwesel and Bacharach on the Rhine River. We have not done this particular walk, but other walks in the area have been very nice. Start the five-, 10- or 20-kilometer trails both days between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. You must be finished by 5 p.m.

Looking at the flier for this walk reminded us of the walk in Boppard that usually takes place every fall in conjunction with the town’s wine festival. We understand that Boppard is not having their walk this year. This is unfortunate because it was one of our favorites. We hope it will return next fall.

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Port Aransas, Texas, volksmarch after-action report: On our recent trip to Texas, we visited Port Aransas, also known as the "Texas Riviera." We stayed at the Captain’s Quarters Inn and found it pleasant and convenient to many of the places we visited.

The Sparkling City Strollers sponsor two walks in Port Aransas: The 11-kilometer "town" walk is mostly around the city with a short stretch on the beach, while the 10k "beach" walk is mostly on the beach. The start for both is at the historic Tarpon Inn. The inn’s lobby opens at 8 a.m., so it is difficult to get an earlier start. The lobby closes at 5 p.m. during the week and at 2 p.m. on weekends. This means a fairly short walking window on Saturdays and Sundays.

At 8 a.m. sharp, we started the town walk. After walking around the south jetty and Roberts Point Park, we made it to the first control point at the Port Aransas Birding Center, which is a natural habitat area and boardwalk into the marshes.

After strolling down Alister Street and past all the souvenir shops, we were on the way to the beach. The second control was at the Horace Caldwell Pier. At this pier, Barnacle Bill’s Pierhouse Grill was an excellent place to take a rest. It offers breakfast, typical grill fare and a fruit bar. But more than that, it has plenty of cool drinks, a nice cool breeze and an excellent view of the Gulf of Mexico.

After our enjoyable break, we headed up the beach and passed by the University of Texas Marine Science Center. The walk instructions say the center has a very nice aquarium, but we did not stop because we wanted to finish the walk. Soon we were back at the Tarpon Inn stamping our books.

We thoroughly enjoyed our brief stay in Port Aransas. If you go, make sure you try an ice-cold pitcher of Fat Tire beer, too!

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Obrigada to the following contributors: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; Tim and Luchi Lynch; John and Patty Marsh; Manfred Dahl, Lew Harrison, Wayne Henry, Pat Patterson, Dawn St. John and Nancy Shawley.

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Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:

• Berg in Terblijt is the start location of a four-day walk through the hills around Valkenburg in the Limburg region of the Netherlands. You do not have to do all four days, but those who do receive a medal and certificate. We have done these walks and have enjoyed them very much.

• The prize at the Memmingen, Germany, walk is a ceramic bird feeder with a thermometer.

• At the Wetterfeld, Germany, walk, the prize is a music box with a pair of hedgehog figures dancing to "Greensleeves." This looks like a very unique gift!

• Clark Soeldner, our voice of Italian volksmarching, says the walk in Stolvizza di Resia has an additional 18-kilometer route this year. It is a really pretty area, but there are some grades. The town has a small museum about the men who used to travel around the region sharpening knives using a bicycle contraption with a sharpening wheel. Normally a guy sets up a couple of these as a demonstration.

• In Flaibano, the prize is a plate of food. There is also a fest in conjunction with the walk.

E-mail volksmarch 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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