Stripes European Travel, Thursday, June 18, 2009

See this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

It’s Father’s Day weekend. Dads, you can sleep in any day — this is an excellent way to spend a day with the family. Get some fresh air, exercise, quality time with your loved ones, and a bratwurst that someone else cooks and cleans up after. Too good to be true!

The military flea market in La Gleize, Belgium, is only about 20 kilometers from Malmedy, so Bob plans to be in both places Sunday. Walking around the large outdoor flea market will be a warm-up for the Malmedy walk. The plan is to hit the flea market before the good buys are gobbled up. Then by the time we get to Malmedy, maybe some of the early walkers will be leaving and there will be some good parking spots near the start hall.

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If you see a rainbow while on a volksmarch, it’s more than likely a "good news, bad news" situation. It is good because they are pretty and not that common. It’s bad because seeing one means you might have just been rained on. That was the case recently in St. Odiliënberg, Netherlands. It was the first walk in their Summer Evening Walking Series. We had not been walking for more than 15 minutes when the skies opened. We made it to some trees and shared our small umbrella as best we could. Within a few minutes, the rain had almost stopped and the sun was shining brightly. As we neared the end of the walk, a second shower had us fumbling for the umbrella just long enough to miss the marker for a turn. Despite the showers, it looks like we will be returning on Mondays for the next few weeks.

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Hürth-Knapsack, Germany, is a busy place for IVV events this weekend. You can actually custom-design your own triathlon. The Wandergesellen Alt-Hürth 1991 e.V. is offering walks of six, 11 and 22 kilometers. It also has a marathon walk of 42 kilometers. For bike enthusiasts, there’s a 25-kilometer cycling route. You’ll have to take your own bike because rentals are not available. To top it off, you can do a swim event as well. There will be a shuttle bus to take you from the start hall to the pool.

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Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:

• Good luck to those who are participating in the 70k walk in Gulpen, Netherlands. It starts at 10:30 p.m. Saturday and must be finished before 2 p.m. Sunday.

• The walk in See, Germany, is convenient for those living in the Hohenfels area.

• The walk in Ehlenz is convenient for folks in the Spangdahlem and Bitburg areas and is close to the West Wall bunker in Irrel, Germany.

• Baumholder walkers, the volksmarch in Heimbach is right next door. The walk starts at the Besenbinderhalle between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday.

• Arrive early at the mountain walk in Giazzara di Trambileno, Italy, as this is a very popular event and parking is limited.

• To get to the walk in Ziano di Fiemme, Italy, take A22 to the Egna-Ora exit, then follow the SS48 to kilometer 24. For information, call (+39) (0)462-570016.

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

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