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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

The Wanderclub “Starke Sohle e.V.” Idar Oberstein, Germany, hosts its 26th volksmarch this weekend in the town of Weierbach at the Hessenstein Halle. The 6K and 10K start on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you’re up to a longer 20K trail, begin between 7:30 and 1 p.m. Saturday or 7:30 a.m. to noon Sunday. The club is offering B-medals, which means they will probably have a selection of their traditional stone souvenirs available. Last year, they had an agate plate with a crystal in the center. Once they had a quartz elephant with up-turned trunk as their prize. The elephant is one of our favorite Volksmarch prizes.

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For those still looking for a torch walk, the Saturday evening torch walk in Lichtenwald, Germany, starts between 5 and 7 p.m.; wrap up your 10 kilometer trail by 10 p.m. If walking with a burning torch that you’ve bought at the start hall — or a flashlight if you prefer — doesn’t light your fire, walk the daytime event, which begins at noon and goes until 5 p.m. B-medals in limited quantities are the souvenir.

This walk has been designated a “Stammtisch” event for members of the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club, so get out there and support your club. If you are from the Stuttgart area and are interested in joining a club, check out their Web page at www.sgawc.com and click on the flag for the language of your choice.

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Here’s an after-action report from the mail bag. Not everyone went to the Paris walk we wrote about last week. Loyal reader and frequent contributor Maureen McHugh-Castro braved the frigid temperatures to attend the walk in Limburg a.d. Lahn. She reports that the start hall was a bit difficult to find, but the walk itself was very nice. The route took her along the Lahn River and through the beautiful Limburg Aldstadt. At one time during the walk, Maureen fought off the bitter cold by warming her feet on the heating vent outside a beautiful church. At the end, she was surprised by the really nice tall glass flower they gave as the prize.

Last spring, we met the Pattersons, Nancy Shawley and a group of people from the Alabama governor’s office and walked the permanent trail in Limburg. From Maureen’s report it sounds as if we followed a very similar route, and we were really impressed with its beauty. We can imagine the winter winds whipping along the river banks! Thanks, Maureen, for sharing your experience.

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If you hurry, you might be able to get in on another excellent bus trip for a Volksmarch in Berchtesgaden, Germany. The Heidelberg International Wandering Club is hosting the overnight trip and has extended an invitation to members of the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club to join them in this trip to the foot of the Alps. The trip is March 28-29, but you need to make your plans now. The HIWC flier makes this sound like an outstanding trip. To see the flier, or for more information, go to www.hiwc.de. If you plan to attend from the Stuttgart club, contact Tom Francis at Thomas.Francis@eucom.mil before Feb. 10.

This is a great opportunity to see this picturesque region of Germany. Plus, someone else does the planning and driving, worries about parking and makes the reservations. All you have to do is pay your money, show up on time, and enjoy the trip!

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A million thanks to the people who send us fliers: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro, Bob Gambert, John and Evelyn Golembe, Sara Gonzales, Wayne Henry, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, Tim and Luchi Lynch, “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson, and Nancy Shawley. Special thanks to Bob Gambert who was the first person to use our new ZIP code, as well as to his close friend Dennis Betz, who helps gather fliers. Together, these guys send plenty of fliers our way. As we’ve said before, the column would suffer were it not for the efforts of all of you who send fliers.

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Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s volksmarch events:

• Not much is offered this week in volksmarch prizes in Germany. Based on the fliers we received, only B-medals are being offered and usually they are not described. If you go to a walk offering a B-medal, there is no telling what you might get. A safe bet for a nice prize would be the Weierbach walk described above.

• The Pragelato, Italy, event is a snowshoe walk. For more information go to the Web at wwww.racchettinvalle.it.

• The walk in Concamarise, Italy, is full of prizes. In addition to the award of a food item for completing the walk (last year they had salami), if you pick up a ticket along the course, there is an award of a confection. In addition, there will be a primrose given to women who attend.

• There is a special walkers’ meal at the Plaino di Pagnacco event, but you must request it when you sign up for the walk.

• There is a fest tent at the end of the Cessalto walk, so food will be available.

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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