See this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

One of the most popular volksmarch events in Europe is rapidly approaching. The medieval German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is hosting its 32nd annual weekend of walking through the city and around the neighboring countryside on Feb. 27-28.

That weekend is still more than a month away, but we mention it now so you can plan for the event. There are plenty of quaint, little guest houses in Rothenburg for spending the night, but they will fill quickly as the date approaches. We have already made our reservations at our favorite spot, Gasthaus Zum Schmölzer, and look forward to a busy weekend of walking.

The Heidelberg International Wandering Club is putting together a weekend trip for this walk. After the Rothenburg walk on Saturday, club members will spend the night in nearby Dinkelsbühl, another beautiful, medieval walled city. Sunday, they will walk one of the permanent trails in Crailsheim before returning home.

If you would like to join them, contact Rob and Cath Floyd at They will answer questions and give information on how to pay. The cut-off date for registration is Feb. 2.

Here are some more dates for your long-range planning. All walks are in Germany, unless stated otherwise:

March 21: 17th Airborne Division walk, Bertogne, Belgium;April 17-18: Stavelot, Belgium;April 18: Consdorf, Luxembourg;May 1-2: Hohenfels;May 8-9: Ramstein;July 31 and Aug. 1: Stuttgart;Aug. 14-15: Bamberg;Sept. 18-19: Heidelberg;Sept. 25-26: Schweinfurt;Oct. 16-17: Grafenwöhr;Oct. 31: Daylight-saving time ends;Nov. 25: Ramstein Turkey Trot.We provide these dates so you can not only plan to attend these walks, but also hopefully volunteer to help your local club as they sponsor them. If there are any other walks you consider noteworthy, please send us a message about it so we can spread the word. Send us your after-action reports as well.


We have just learned of a new development for volksmarches in Germany. Starting this year, if a walk is held on both Saturday and Sunday, you can get IVV event credit on both days. In the past, you could get IVV credit for the distances walked on both days, but it counted as only one event.

Now you will receive IVV credit for two events and for the kilometers walked on both days. We understand that the change is due to the increasing cost of gasoline and the decreasing number of walks.

Thanks to Bob Gambert and “Pat” Patterson for bringing us up to speed on this new development. If any readers know of this going into effect in other countries, please let us know so we can pass the word along.

Having mentioned “Pat” Patterson, we have to send a tip of the hat, a high-five and a pat on the back to this fanatic volksmarcher. He reached his 2009 goals by completing 500 events that covered an amazing 6,353 kilometers. He completed walking, biking and swimming events in countries around the world.

It will be tough to top these numbers in 2010, but if anyone can do it, he can! Good luck!

Kudos also go to these folks who contributed fliers for this week’s column: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro, John and Evelyn Golembe, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, Tim and Luchi Lynch, “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson, Bob Gambert, Lew Harrison, Wayne Henry, Doug LeVien and Nancy Shawley.


Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:

• This week there are two walks in German towns named Kappel, and they are 200 miles apart, so be careful. The first Kappel is in the beautiful Hunsrück region, not too far from Hahn. The other Kappel is just outside Freiburg. The Freiburg-Kappel walk is offering a teddy bear with hat and scarf as the prize.

• Another stuffed animal prize is being given at the Büchenbach, Germany, walk. It is a seal with a scarf.

• The walk in Göppingen, Germany, is a Stammtisch walk for the Stuttgart German American Wandering Club. As veteran volksmarchers know, Stammtisch is a German word for a table in a bar or restaurant that is reserved for the same guests at the same time each day or week. There usually is a sign or plaque on the table identifying it as such.

There can be all kinds of Stammtisch. There are those simply for friends to eat and drink together. And there are specific interest groups, such as a “People practicing their German” Stammtisch.

Look for the blue Stuttgart German American Wandering Club (SGAWC) flag at one of the tables in the start hall. Go up and say “Hi!” to this group of dedicated walkers.

Here’s a heads-up from Clark Soeldner on an event in Italy:

• The walk in Murelle di Villanova di Camposampiero has a choice of prizes: a plant with a vase for 3.50 euros or a bottle of wine for 5 euros.

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

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