This is Easter weekend and there are a lot of walks to choose from. Over this four-day weekend there are several Friday and Monday walks, but only a couple on Sunday. The walk in Elztal-Dallau, Germany, is split between Saturday and Monday. If you have some extra time off this weekend, spend it with your family on a volksmarch near you.

Three walks in Germany are offering stuffed Easter bunnies as their prize this week. To get your bunnies, walk in Elztal-Dallau on Saturday or Monday, Bieberswöhr on Saturday or Sunday, or Sprendlingen on Friday or Saturday. Based on personal experience, if you show up on the second day of the walk, the prizes might be gone. If you go to Sprendlingen, dogs are not allowed in the start hall.

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On March 28, we had a blast at the Easter market in Wiesbaden. It was raining on and off as we drove down from the Netherlands, but we decided to stop and do the walk in Hahnstätten since it was on the way. There were some green buds on the forest plants and a few birds singing, but it was mostly rain and mud that had our attention as we walked up and down the hills. This year we were probably two weeks early in trying to catch a display of spring splendor.

In Wiesbaden, our first stop was at the spring bazaar sponsored by the German-American and International Women’s Club Wiesbaden. This event was not like some bazaars, with vendors selling their goods, but rather like a big flea market. We each found a little item, but we wanted to get to the pedestrian zone for the Easter market.

This was our first Easter market, so we were not sure what we would find. We were surprised to find a market with a little bit of everything available. There were several vendors selling Easter items, but most of the stalls were selling year-round items. Polish pottery, wine, food, jewelry, soaps, food and even our favorite Monschau mustard were on sale. There was music from a marching band and street musicians, as well as a demonstration of Bavarian dancing. Lorraine received a daffodil from a young lady dressed as an Easter bunny who was passing out the flowers. We even saw people in old Roman soldier outfits. More than just an Easter market, this was a spring market that had something for almost everybody.

During our visit, we picked up a booklet titled, "Twelve reasons to visit Wiesbaden." For 2009, this Easter market was reason number two out of the 12. The fall wine festival and the Christmas market caught our eye, so we’ll be looking forward to returning to the city. Wiesbaden has a permanent volksmarch too, so we’ll be getting our walking in as well.

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We thought oliebollen were only served around New Year’s in the Netherlands, but looking at the flier for the Mortier, Belgium, walk we see they can be Easter treats as well. They are balls of fried dough about the size and shape of Easter eggs and can be decorated with powdered sugar, so they would be appropriate for Easter, too. To get your oliebollen/Easter eggs, start the walk between 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday in Mortier.

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Notes about this week’s events:

• The prize at Gültstein, Germany, is a pocketknife with bottle opener and corkscrew.

• The start for the Rizzi, Italy, walk is at the Parco Cormor next to the Fiera Mall northwest of Udine. The flier recommends that walkers park at the mall parking lot.

• If you want to do two walks in Zinasco Nuovo, Italy, on Monday, the town has a permanent, year-round trail in addition to their regular walk.

• After the Saturday evening walk in Rivoli di Osoppo, Italy, there will be an Easter dinner for participants at 7 p.m.

E-mail volksmarch information to Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.

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