See this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

There are some really nice walks in store this weekend. In Mainz-Gonsenheim, Germany, the start times are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the five-kilometer; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the 10-kilometer; and 7 a.m. to noon for the 20-kilometer.

The volksmarch starts in the Karl-Geib-Haus, Kapellenstrasse 44, in Mainz-Gonsenheim, and is adjacent to a wild-animal park. The start is small but quaint, and lies in an extremely popular walking area. If the weather is hot, sunny and dry, try to arrive early, as parking will be at a premium. B-medals are the prize.

We mention this walk because Mainz is just across the Rhine from Wiesbaden and the Rheingauer wine festival starts there Friday and runs through Aug. 23. They will have more than 100 stands offering over 1,000 varieties of wine. You can volksmarch in the morning, then go to a wine festival in the afternoon. For more information on German wine festivals, visit There is an English link.

For another nice walk, members of the Wanderfreunde Crailsheim e.V. hold their 47th Internationale Wandertage and 31st marathon. Crailsheim is only 30 minutes from Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions. The five-, 10- and 20-kilometer routes begin on Saturday between 5:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. and again on Sunday from 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A walk for young people, or Jugendwanderung, is part of the DVV-Junior-Series and will also be held each day. The 42-kilometer marathon starts both days between 5:30 and 9 a.m. The prize this year is a toy Toyota RAV4. We have not been to this walk, but we are told the club members are friendly, the trails are well-organized and marked, and there is plenty of parking available.

If you start and finish your Crailsheim walk early in the morning, consider spending your afternoon visiting the walled city of Rothenburg. Since you’re already in the area, take advantage of your proximity to this picturesque and famous German town.

If you prefer, you can combine a walk with some World War II history this weekend. The event in Bellevaux, Belgium, is close to Battle of the Bulge museums in La Gleize, Poteau and Baugnez. The countryside is beautiful and the museums give an excellent portrayal of the fighting. If you are in the area, try to visit at least one of these excellent museums.

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From the mail box: Lew Harrison sent a note stating that the event in Gerardmer, France, was a “great walk.” He also sent a reminder regarding the walk in Colmar, France, on Nov. 28. This is an evening walk with the city illuminated for Christmas. Make sure you note this walk on your calendars.

Thanks to Brad Crandall and the Ramstein Roadrunners, we have received a sneak preview of the mug they are offering at this year’s Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this mug is a beauty! You’ll have to see it to believe it, so make the Turkey Trot a priority event this Thanksgiving. We want a mug, so we’ll be there!

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