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European edition, Thursday, July 30, 2009

See this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

The hot walk this weekend appears to be in Ebernhahn, Germany. Located close to Autobahn 3 north of Limburg, Ebernhahn is offering distances for every kind of walker — the usual 5-, 11- or 20-kilometer routes, or 42- or 50-km trails. For your efforts, you receive a colorful ceramic chicken that would look good in any garden. With luck, you can also get one of last year’s roosters to make a set. Your garden trolls will be enthralled by their new companions.

The Küps walk is convenient for those of you in the Bamberg, Germany, area. Start the 5-, 10-, and 20-kilometer routes Saturday between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sunday between 6 a.m. and noon. The prize is a B-medal at the reduced price of 3 euros.

Sunday’s walk in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg, should be another nice event. Located southwest of Bitburg, Germany, it is convenient for readers in the Eifel region. After the walk, visit the National Military Museum in Diekirch or the castle in Vianden. We always enjoy our trips to walk in Luxembourg.

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The Heidelberg (Germany) International Wandering Club has extended the sign-up period for its trip to Paris and Versailles on Labor Day Weekend, but you have to act fast, because the new deadline is Friday. For more information on the trip and on how to pay, visit www.hiwc.de. To book a seat on the bus, e-mail www.hiwc@yahoo.com.

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A couple of reminders … the Wiesbaden, Germany, wine festival is coming in a couple weeks. Why not plan to walk one of their permanent trails in conjunction with the festival? Plus, members of the Ramstein Roadrunners are going to the walk in Crailsheim, followed by a side trip to Dinkelsbühl on Aug. 15. If you’d like to go with them, contact Gene at parrotdad@hotmail.com.

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Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s volksmarch events:

• At Blaichach, Germany, they are offering B-medals this year, but last year’s prize was a teddy bear dressed in a scarf and stocking hat. With luck, you could pick one up this year, too.

• Another B-medal deal might be found in Pfullendorf, Germany. Last year, they had a multifunction knife as their prize, and you might be able to get one this year.

• The town of Hottenbach, Germany, is not far from Idar-Oberstein, so it is not surprising that they are offering a gemstone award at their walk.

• Oberdachstetten, Germany, is pretty close to Rothenburg ob der Tauber; after the walk, visit Rothenburg’s beautiful, walled old city. If you live near Ansbach, this is the walk for you.

• Wattens, Austria, home of the Swarovski crystal factory, hosts its annual volksmarch on Sunday. If you want to add some crystal shopping to your walking experience, visit www.kristallwelten.com, which has an English language option, to find more information.

• Clark Soeldner, our Italy volksmarching expert, says that the finish for the Porcia walk is at the top of the Campanili. You’ll see beautiful dusk views over the towns to the mountains.

• Expect mountain trails at the Vestenanova, Italy, walk.

• In the "Did you know?" department: You don’t have to stop volksmarching when you leave Europe. The American Volks-sports Association (AVA) promotes volksmarching across the United States. From its national headquarters in Universal City, Texas, it divides the country into 10 regions. Each has a director who oversees the volksmarch clubs and activities in their area. There are currently 314 volksmarch clubs that provide about 3,000 events each year. You can use the AVA Web site, www.ava.org,to locate clubs and see what they have planned. The site also has an interactive map to help you find and plan your volksmarches. You can also find information on bylaws, regulations and awards.


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