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See this week's volksmarch events.

Saturday is one of the most popular walking days in the Netherlands. The town of Lisse, southwest of Amsterdam, is hosting its annual Keukenhoftocht, which will take walkers through Keukenhof, one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world.

This year the garden’s theme is "From Russia with Love." The following description is from its Web site:

"Russia. An enormous country. A beautiful country. A country full of mystery. This year Keukenhof is paying homage to an extraordinary country with an extraordinary history, under the theme ‘From Russia with Love.’ Follow the theme route marked on the map and you will not miss a thing. From the main entrance to the drawbridge you will find yourself walking through Russian landscapes, while in the children’s play area you can encounter Russian wildlife and visit a traditional dacha. And of course you must not forget the Russian inspirational garden.

"Another great attraction is the mosaic of the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral. Have your photo taken on a Russian army bicycle at the park entrance, before going on to discover the typical Russian matryoshkas displayed at various locations throughout the park."

This very popular walk will have busloads of people from across Europe. The cost of the start card is very high for a volksmarch at about 9 euros, but that is a 5-euro savings over buying an admission ticket at the garden. IVV credit is an added bonus. In addition to the gardens you get to walk around Lisse and see several commercial flower fields with different varieties and colors of flowers. The start hall is at the Family Bakker flower packaging warehouse. The street address is Meer en Duin 1-5. GPS information: postal code 2163 HA, Lisse, Netherlands.

This year the garden will be open until May 16. Gates open at 8 a.m. and the last entry ticket is sold at 6 p.m. The garden closes at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are 14 euros for adults, 7 euros for ages 4 to 11. Parking is 6 euros. You can get more information on the garden by visiting www.keukenhof.com, where you can read about its history, see a schedule of events and a video and buy tickets. Even if you don’t make it this weekend for the walk, try to get to Lisse sometime this year to see the botanical garden. In addition to your cameras, make sure you bring an umbrella. Some rain might be annoying, but it is what makes the flowers so spectacular.

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Just a reminder … April 13 is the last day to sign up for the Heidelberg International Wandering Club’s bus trip to the volksmarch in Kufstein, Austria. Contact Don at don.casper1@t-online.de for more information.

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The following people deserve a big pat on the back for taking the time to send us fliers: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Cath and Rob Floyd; Richard and Donna Glenn; John and Evelyn Golembe; John, Mary and Tess Laub; Tim and Luchi Lynch; "Pat" and Cheryl Patterson; and Bob Gambert, Lew Harrison, Doug LeVien and Nancy Shawley. Thanks everyone — we can’t do it without you.

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Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:

• This weekend’s walk in Freiberg am Neckar, Germany, is a Stammtisch walk for the Stuttgart German American Wandering Club.

• A B-medal beer mug will be the prize this weekend at the volksmarch in Rodenbach, Germany. This is a really close walk for those in the Kaiserslautern and Ramstein area.

• Wednesday’s walk and bike event in Hohenöllen has a shorter start window this year. Cutoff time for starting the five- and 10-kilometer trails is 4 p.m. You must start the 20k route before 2 p.m., and if you want to do the bike route, you must start before 3 p.m. All events close at 6 p.m.

•Saturday’s walk in Schoonhoven, Netherlands, offers a seven-kilometer trail that will take you through the historical inner city.

• The prize at the walk in Windach, Germany, is a frog figure.

Clark Soeldner’s Italian walking notes:

• "I have a love/hate relationship with the Masera di Padova event. I like the 31-kilometer trail, but was disappointed that the IVV representative was long gone when I finished walking it. The event is geared to runners, not walkers."

• The start for the Verona walk is at Via Prati 10, in the quartiere di Ponte Crencano. The flier notes the walk is in the hills surrounding Verona.

E-mail volksmarch information to two.walkers@yahoo.com.

Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.

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