Support our mission

Since Memorial Day is an American holiday, there are not very many walks planned in Europe. That means you can rest Monday after walking Saturday and Sunday. Or you could do a permanent walk. There is an old joke about being so tired from a busy weekend that you can’t wait to get back to work so you can get some rest. I’m sure that would not apply to volksmarchers, but it is a funny thought all the same.

Thursday, on the other hand, is a German holiday, Fronleichnam, so there are a few walks Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. If you are in the Kaiserslautern Military Community, you might consider the walk in Eisen, a Wednesday-Thursday event.

Saturday offers a unique chance to earn five event IVV stamps in one day. The Wanderfreunde Glück Auf club is offering four walking events and a swim. The towns of Dankmarkhausen, Klein-ensee, Heringen and Wölfers-hausen are close, and, with staggered start times, you can easily walk an event and then drive to the next start hall. The swimming pool in Heringen is open all afternoon for a cool-off after you walk.

Sunday’s walk in Allmersbach im Tal is a Stammtisch walk for the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club. Look for its blue flag on a table in the start hall. Start this event between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. The club also will attend the volksmarch in Schwaigern on Wednesday and Thursday.

Last week we mentioned the big volksmarch in Stuttgart coming up July 27-28. For those of you farther east in Germany, there will be an “open door” day at the Wildflecken military base that weekend, and a volksmarch is one of the many activities planned. Start times are 6 a.m. to noon, and routes are 10, 15 and 24 kilometers. We’re not sure if this is an IVV event, but either way, it should keep you on your toes. Any time you have to be on the lookout for unexploded ordnance, it should be an interesting walk.

Stay tuned for more information about both the Stuttgart and Wildflicken walks.

Monreal, Germany, after-action report:

After so many emails and photographs about the pretty town of Monreal, we finally met Tim and Luchi Lynch to walk this event. The clouds were threatening rain, so we decided to put Lorraine’s Umbrella Theory to the test. This theory proposes that as long as Lorraine is carrying an umbrella in her hand, it will not be needed. In the past, this has stood up to many rigorous tests. On this particular day, however, it held out most of the day, but we still got caught in a pretty good downpour. Out of two hours of walking, the umbrella was used for about 15 minutes, so that is not too bad.

The start hall was down in a valley with hills all around, so we knew right away there were going to be hills. The hills were long and gradual and that kept the pace slow enough for some good conversation. The topic of federal workers and furloughs came up and Tim has a good plan in mind if the furloughs happen. It is difficult to put a positive spin on a day off without pay every week, but look at it as a chance to get out and do more volksmarches. With the likelihood of the furlough days being alternated through the week, it means the best choice for a volksmarch would be a permanent walk. Tim told us of a very nice permanent walk they did recently in Zell. We’ll go into more detail about this walk next week

Getting back to Monreal, the route we took did not lead us through the cute little town, so after the walk we had a bite of lunch at the start hall and then went exploring. Before we left the start hall, we bought some white asparagus and a concrete mushroom garden ornament. Then we drove back to town and walked through the center of the little city. It reminded us a lot of a miniature Monschau, with the castle ruins above on the hill and the river running through the city. It did not take long to walk through town, so we stopped at one of the several cafés for a drink. Too soon, it was time to start the drive home. We had a very nice time and are looking forward to a return visit.

Mother’s Day also turned out to be a good day for walking. We did the annual Asparagus Walk in St. Odiliënberg, Netherlands. It was a cool morning with heavy dew, so we got wet in the tall grass along a stream, but that didn’t slow us down. As we walked, we saw people in the fields harvesting white asparagus. This time we did not see any roadside stands selling this delicacy, but we still had some from Monreal. On the way home from St. Odiliënberg, we passed through the town of St. Joost, where we stopped for a Rommelmarkt. We did not find anything at this particular flea market, but we are going to keep looking!

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

Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up