Hey, everybody. By now you’ve probably seen the announcement in Stars and Stripes saying that beginning Feb. 1, the paper will print five days a week here in Europe. There will be a new and expanded Weekend section on Fridays, which will include this column. Because we know that many volksmarchers make their weekend plans by midweek, we will continue to post the week’s column and walk chart on the Stars and Stripes website at the same time we do now, by Thursday morning. Look for it at the same address: There is not a lot to say about walks this weekend, unless you are near Stuttgart, Germany. Sunday’s Volksmarch in Horrheim is a "Stammtisch" walk for the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club. The official prize for this walk is IVV credit, but the real prize would be to meet some of the walkers from the Stuttgart club and swap a few volksmarch stories with them. Look for their blue flag at the start hall.

Also in the Stuttgart area is the event in Upfingen. This walk is interesting for two reasons. First is the “old school” plate that is the prize for this event. Years ago — 20-plus in actuality — plates like these were common prizes at volksmarches. Sometimes they were pewter, other times ceramic, but they were always pretty. This plate depicts the ruins of the 11th century Hohenurach Castle. The second interesting thing about this walk is that the scene on the plate is just a few kilometers away, near the town of Bad Urach. It’s possible that the walking trails might take you near or at least within sight of the old castle ruins. Here is an opportunity to do a nice walk, get an interesting prize and then visit the castle ruins.Park at the Maisenthal car park near the Urach waterfall and follow the signs to the ruins.

Jan. 12 was a beautiful day in Limburg an der Lahn, Germany, and it sounds as if we missed one heck of a walk there. Tim and Luchi Lynch did the old city walk and sent us an after-action report and photos. Tim wrote: “You missed a spectacular march Saturday. We started the Altstadt trail right at noon. Once we got into the city, the route brought us into the old town near the Nassau Hotel. The trail seemingly brought us on every street and alley in the old town as we found alleys we’d not seen before. We crisscrossed the old town, along all the pedestrian shopping streets passing Karstadt (where we decided to stop for a quick, cheap, and warm/sitting lunch) and most of the shops/stores. Then through more of the old town before heading up the Dom, then back down into the town. The only drawbacks this year were that trail didn’t bring us along the Lahn River near the Schloss, nor did we climb the hill overlooking the town and Dom.” Thanks for the report, Tim! The early signs of an oncoming cold kept us inside that weekend. We remember how much fun we had at this event last year. Maybe we can get together in 2014 and try it again.This column was prepared for the Jan. 24, 2013, edition of Stars and Stripes. Email volksmarch information to Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO AE 09752.

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