Volksmarch column, April 19, 2013
April 16, 2013
Some good walks continue to pop up on the radar.
One of our favorites is at Stavelot, Belgium. They always have nice hilly routes through this historic area. We also enjoy visiting the nearby WWII museums, as well as the little brewery in the town of Bellevaux. Stavelot’s event will be both Saturday and Sunday starting at 7 a.m. at the Athene Royal.
This weekend’s walk in Mannweiler-Cölln, Germany, is convenient for walkers in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. Just follow the B48 toward Bad Kreuznach. The start is at the Dorfgemeinschaftshalle, and the doors open at 7 a.m. both days. If you want to walk the marathon route Saturday, the doors open at 6:30 a.m.
If you live in the Eifel region, the event in Hermesdorf will be close for you. Only about five kilometers northwest of Bitburg, it should be easy to find. The start is at the Westeifelwerke, and the trails — ranging from 6 to 30 kilometers — open at 7 a.m. This walk is for IVV credit only, but the flier says there will be a Tombola, where you can buy tickets to win assorted prizes.
Good luck to the Heidelberg International Wandering Club on its day trip to Bergholtz, France, Saturday. Some walking followed by some shopping is a great combination.
The walk in Maastricht, Netherlands, is in the Heer neighborhood (wijk 27) on the east side of the city. From the A2, take the N278 exit toward Margraten and you should find signs to guide you to the start hall at Einsteinsraat 32.
If we didn’t have prior commitments we would be going to this walk. The area around Maastricht is very pretty, and we enjoy walking there.
Next Saturday is the Kiddie Volksmarch at Patrick Henry Village in Heidelberg. Sponsored by the Heidelberg International Wandering Club, this event is geared toward kids up to age 12. There is no entrance fee, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. The route is 5 kilometers and each child will receive a medal and certificate for finishing the walk.
The start is at the library parking lot between 9 a.m. and noon. For more information, contact Rob Floyd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After action report: We spent Easter weekend at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and, remaining flexible at all times, had a very nice mini-vacation. As we mentioned in an earlier column, we planned to take the walking tour of Partnach Gorge. We were sad to hear that the gorge was closed due to melting and falling ice. That left us looking for a “plan B.”
With help from the hotel staff, we got a map of the area and decided to walk to a nearby lake. We bundled up because the snow was coming down at a pretty brisk rate and headed off.
Since it was Easter Sunday, there was little traffic on the roads, and it was very quiet as we walked. We got to the lake and were amazed at how pretty it was. The clouds were low and the snow clung to every branch as we walked around the lake. We only saw a couple of other walkers. It was so peaceful; the crunching of boots in the fresh snow was the only sound.
After our quiet stroll around the lake, we decided to walk into town for lunch. There was not much open, but we found a restaurant where the food was good and the beer cold. Soon it was time to start the journey back to the hotel. Snow was still falling, and it made everything so pretty. We were kidding about how we were “Dreaming of a white Easter!”
Monday, our plan was to make the short drive to Innsbruck, Austria, and walk a permanent IVV trail. (We still need an Austria stamp for our Europa Cup award.) Since Monday was a holiday across Europe, we emailed the tourist information office to make sure it was going to be open. When it replied that it was going to be closed, we again were looking for a “plan B.”
This time, with more help from the hotel staff, we walked into the hills on the other side of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. By now the snow had stopped, and the skies were bright blue. The peak of the Zugspitz peeked out of the high clouds, offering some very nice photo ops.
After starting off on flat terrain, we left the residential area and started up into the hills. After a pretty steady climb, we came to a Gasthaus with a restaurant. It was a bit too cold to sit on the large outdoor patio, but we still had a very nice view of the mountains from the inside. After a cappuccino and a Coke, we were back on the trail. We headed over to a German War Memorial/Chapel honoring men from the area who died in WWII.
After that, we headed back down the hill into town. Our next stop was to a local lake noted for its emerald-green water. As we walked around this lake taking pictures, we were pelted by snow as it fell from the overburdened branches above. Then it was off to a restaurant for a late lunch.
All told, we had a very nice, albeit short, visit to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We did not get our first choices in all of our activities, but we still were able to take some nice walks in the very pretty countryside.
Email volksmarch information to email@example.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO AE 09752.