Volksmarch column, Sept. 6, 2013
Stars and Stripes September 4, 2013
If this weekend finds you in Austria, check out the many activities planned by the Wandersportfreunde Maria Brettfall in the town Strass im Zillertal. The club will offer four walking routes, including one to the Pilgrimage Church of Maria Brettfall. There is a fifth route if you count the permanent volksmarch.
For bike enthusiasts, there will be bike trails! Pedal to Kaltenbach and back for the 30k, to Zell am Ziller and back for the 46k, or to Mayrhofen and back for the 64K. You can cut these routes in half by stopping at any of these towns and taking the train back to the start hall. This gives you a choice of six bike distances.
Friday and Saturday evenings there will be concerts in town, and Sunday there will be live music in the start hall. So whether you walk, ride or listen to music, you have plenty of options from which to choose at Strass.
For walkers in the Stuttgart area, how about putting a new spin on date night? On Friday there is a volksmarch in Schorndorf. You have until 5:30 p.m. to start the walk, so pick up your date and head to the start hall at Lortzingstrasse 42. You can relieve some of the stress after a busy week by enjoying a five- or 10-kilometer walk followed by a cultural dining experience at the start hall. You can even pick up a B-medal prize for your sweetheart. Best of all, you can rub elbows with members of the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club because this is a Stammtisch event for the club. Look for its blue flag in the start hall.
For readers in the Eifel region, Sunday’s walk in Witt-lich is fairly close to walkers in the Bitburg/Spangdahlem area. You have a choice of a six-, 10- or 15-kilometer route starting from the Bürgerhaus in Wittlich-Neuerburg. Start between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. This event is for IVV credit only.
As for us, it looks like another busy weekend of walking. We plan to attend the walk in Gouvy, Belgium, Saturday morning. After lunch at the start hall, we will drive north to the town of Rencheux, just outside of Vielsalm. It is there that a monument is being dedicated to the members of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, as well as other units, who fought there during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. We enjoy attending these events as they honor the men who fought and died to liberate Europe.
Then Sunday, we’ll go to Opglabbeek, Belgium, to attend the Braambierentocht. We’re told that the name refers to a type of beer made with wild blackberries. We hope there is some to try!
The walking routes range from six to 43 kilometers, with the start window being between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. except for the marathon which ends at 10 a.m.
Looking down the trail: The Wiesbaden International Wandering Club will be on the road again next weekend heading up past our area on its way to Groesbeek, Netherlands. Next weekend is the anniversary of the start of Operation Market Garden, and the town of Groesbeek was at the center of action. Groesbeek has a very nice Liberation Museum dedicated to Operation Market Garden and to WWII in general. Your start card for the walk will allow you to visit this museum for free. It’s been a few years since we have done this walk, so we’ll look into doing it again this year. If you want to hook up with the bus from Wiesbaden, contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After-action report: Jim Zoschenko of the Wiesbaden International Wandering Club tells us that their bus trip to Echternach, Luxembourg, went well. He says club members enjoyed the trails and now know why the area is known as “Luxemburg’s Little Switzerland.” There was a festival in Echternach, which added to the fun.
Email volksmarch information to email@example.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO AE 09752.