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Today is Ascension Thursday, or in German, "Christi Himmelfahrt." It is also Father’s Day in Germany. A German co-worker tells us that today is a day to go for a walk in the woods, enjoy a picnic or a cookout and have fun with friends and family. That certainly sounds like a volksmarch to us.

There are a lot of walks today and throughout the weekend. If you are off today, you should be able to find one. This is especially true for walkers in the Stuttgart area.

Today, the blue flag of the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club will be at the walk in Michelbach am Wald. Join them and wander through the vineyards in the area. The routes are 7, 10 and 18 kilometers and the doors open at 6 a.m.

The Stuttgart walkers also will be in force at the event in Weissach, near Flact, today and tomorrow. Start from the Alte Festhalle on Grabenstrasse and go 6, 10 or 20 kilometers. Start times are between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. both days.

Then this weekend, the tireless Stuttgart club will be at the walk in Freiberg am Neckar. The walks begin at the Lugaufhalle on Gartenstrasse between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Routes are 6, 11 or 20 kilometers. These walks are part of their Stammtisch series.

If you live near Grafenwöhr, consider the walk in Kaltenbrunn. Start the 5- or 10-kilometer routes between 6 and 11 a.m.

If you want to do a marathon walk today, head to Oberelbert, where the routes range between 5 and 50 kilometers. The start hall doors open at 6 a.m.

There are also some weekend walks that might interest you. The walk in Brücken appears to be just down the road from Landstuhl. From the Turnhalle on Feldstrasse, you can start the 6- and 11-kilometer routes both days between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. For the 20-kilometer trail, start before 1 p.m.

Sunday’s walk in Niederkail will be convenient for those in the Eifel region. The 5- and 10-kilometer trails start between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m., and the 20-km starts before 1 p.m.

On Saturday, if you hustle, you can earn five IVV stamps in one day. Starting from the town of Dankmarshausen, there are four walks and a swim in the immediate area. The start times are staggered, so it’s easy to do all five events. The events are held in the four towns of Dankmarshausen, Kleinensee, Wölfershausen and Heringen.

Here’s a report on the Kiddie Volksmarch held April 28 by the Heidelberg International Wandering Club to celebrate the Month of the Military Child: “We had 243 kids register for the walk, which is the best turn out in a couple of years. It was the hottest day so far this year with temperatures reaching 30 degrees (Celsius) in the afternoon. But it was good walking weather in the morning, overcast and still cool. We had two control points with free tea on the way. Before heading out on the trail, the kids got start cards, which they had to get stamped at the control points on the way. They presented them at the end to get a free medal and certificate. This year we even had a donation of medals sent from the States from long-time member Bob Doleman. We’re hoping that we can get one more Kiddie Volksmarch in next year, which will probably be our last, with Heidelberg closing. The event was held in conjunction with the Heidelberg Family Festival sponsored by the Child, Youth and School Services, so there were plenty of free hot dogs to replace those calories burned! Thanks to all the volunteers who came out and made sure the event was a success!”

Email 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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