See this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

This weekend, Wanderfreunde Idar-Oberstein holds its 45th volksmarch in the nearby town of Weierbach, Germany. The start location for four trails is the Hessenstein Halle. The prize this year is another gemstone, this time in a pear shape. Organizers will also have B-medal stones from previous walks to choose from. A couple of years ago, we got a very nice quartz elephant at this walk.

Awhile back, Maureen McHugh-Castro sent us a note and brochure about the German Gemstone Museum in Idar-Oberstein. She says that she and her husband were greatly impressed by the four-floor museum. They highly recommend a visit; for more information (mostly in German), see

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Another good walk will be in Munich this weekend. Frequent contributor Ramona Kechelen says the members of the German-American Wander Club-München are friendly hosts who miss the many Americans who were stationed there in years past and helped form their club. She adds that this walk is on a beautiful trail in the forest.

The start time for both Saturday and Sunday is between 6 a.m. and noon. The prize is a pen holder that is also a calculator.

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For those of us in the tri-border area, Bocholtz, Netherlands, is offering several trails, with distances ranging from seven to 60 kilometers. Start time is 7 a.m. for regular walkers; marathon walkers can start at 6 a.m. This is a pretty and hilly portion of the Netherlands.

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As regular readers know, one of our pet peeves is poor parking at a walk and having to “Do a volksmarch to get to the volksmarch,” but we did not complain when we did the Bingelrade, Netherlands, walk. Bingelrade is the next little village over from where we live and it did not make sense to drive when the start hall was only about one kilometer away, so we walked to the start hall. The route took us back through our village, briefly into Germany near a wild animal park and back through the Bingelrade countryside. Luckily, the rain held off while we walked and this turned into a very good walking experience.

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It is several months away, but we’re getting excited about the annual Bastogne Historical Walk. Bob recently joined the JFC Brunssum Allied Officer’s Assoc. for a day trip to Bastogne. What made this trip special was our stop at the Belgian army base to visit the building that was the 101st Airborne Division’s headquarters in Bastogne. The basement rooms are in their original condition and have been filled with authentic equipment and uniformed mannequins. This display is closed to the public and we were fortunate to be allowed in for the visit. We will definitely be in Bastogne on Dec. 12 for the next historical walk.

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Miscellaneous brief notes about this week’s events:

• Complete the walk in Glashütten and you receive a teddy bear with scarf and stocking cap as your prize.

• After a six-year absence, the Barcis, Italy, event is a “do not miss” walk. All routes circle the lake, with the longer ones going into the mountains.

• The walk in Castronno, Italy, has a repeatable course. You can do as many laps as you like between 7 a.m. and the closing time of 3 p.m.

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

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