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Normally we would be planning our annual trip to Heidelberg, Germany, at this time of year, but with the sad demise of the Heidelberg International Wandering Club, we have to look for another September volksmarch. It will be hard to come up with another event that even comes close to the Heidelberg walk, but we’ll give it a try.

One of the members of the former Heidelberg club is Fabrice Normand, and we see that he is involved with a guided walk in Malsch on Sept. 7. This is a Saturday event starting at 11 a.m. with routes of six and 11 kilometers.

The next weekend, Sept. 14 and 15, there is a walk in Bruchmühlbach hosted by the Wanderfreunde Miesau. With Ramstein just a few kilometers away, the Wanderfreunde Miesau is like a sister club to the Ramstein Roadrunners. There are a lot of people who are members of both clubs, and the two work closely to support each other. It would be very nice if a lot of folks from the Kaiserslautern Military Community showed up and made this event a huge success. The doors open both days at 7 a.m. and the trails are five, 10 and 18 kilometers.

While you’ve got your calendar in front of you, also mark down the Aug. 14 walk in the area around Stromberg; you’ll be able to do three IVV walks in one day. We’ll provide more information as the day approaches.

This weekend the town of Rotfelden, about a 45-minute drive southwest of Stuttgart, will offer a B-medal as the prize at its walk. Last year it had a nice teddy bear as the prize, so if you get there early enough, you might get one this year. Trail choices are six, 10 or 20 kilometers. You can start this walk at 8 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday. The cutoff time for starting the walk is 1 p.m. both days.

Speaking of Stuttgart, next weekend is the big walk hosted by the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club, which will offer new trails of six, 12 and 20 kilometers. The doors of the sports hall open Saturday at 10 a.m. You have until 1 p.m. to start the 20-kilometer route and until 3 p.m. for the six- and 12-kilometer trails. The six-km route is stroller friendly. Sunday, doors open at 8 a.m. and you have until 1 p.m. to start all three courses.

The prize for this walk is a hat pin shaped like a walking boot with feathers coming out of the top.

Like all volksmarches, volunteers are needed for the myriad tasks involved. The good news is, there are many ways to help and you don’t have to work all day. You could help at a control point in the morning and then do the walk in the afternoon. Or maybe walk in the morning and then help in the kitchen in the afternoon. Of course, donating some baked goods is always appreciated. If you can help in any way, please contact Melissa Rodeffer at Melissa.rodeffer@gmail.com.

For more information, visit the Stuttgart Club’s website at sgawc.org. You can also see pictures from last year’s walk and other club events on this site. We’ll have more details in next week’s column. For now, just plan to head to Stuttgart next weekend.

If you can’t make it to Stuttgart, next weekend is also the open day event, including a volksmarch, at the Wildflecken Training Area. I don’t see anything about this being an IVV-sanctioned walk, but it still looks like it will be a fun weekend in Wildflecken.

We just got back from a quick trip to Krakow, Poland. We were not able to do an IVV walk, but we still had a nice time in the area. We were very pleasantly surprised at the newer highways in Poland as we took a drive out to the site of the former POW camp Stalag VIIIB. On the way back, we visited the Auschwitz site, which has become highly commercialized in the past few years. It is still a very moving experience to walk in the buildings and across the infamous grounds of Auschwitz.

On the upside, we visited the Hard Rock Cafe in Krakow and got the T-shirt and guitar pin for the collection. We took an electric cart tour of the city and briefly stopped at the former Otto Schindler factory made famous by the movie “Schindler’s List.” The factory is now a museum. Unfortunately, we could not get back for a full visit of the museum. That is, however, one reason for a return trip to Krakow. Good food and very reasonable prices are two more reasons. Now we have to find an IVV walk in the area.

As we headed off for our cruise, we heard from the IVV representative in Stockholm about a guided IVV walk. We will let you know how it turns out!

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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