We arrived to Jared’s Aunt & Uncle’s house in Southwestern Germany on August 31st.
It wasn’t without its woes and worries, as we learned our new GPS hadn’t been charging all day (faulty charger on our rental car that we otherwise love). Right as we reached the busy traffic of Frankfurt, the GPS died.
We still had another hour or more to go, so, we turned on the iPhone and tried to pull up a map there.
Then it died.
Then we got out the iPad, and it too was dead.
What the heck? Was it a sign?! Were we meant to wither and die on this highway?
Thankfully, our friends had given us some old-fashioned paper maps to use (I know…what’s that?), and we whipped those out and found our way to our family’s house without too bad of a detour. We were pooped!
The next morning, Pat & Mike (Aunt & Uncle) took us on a volksmarch (a “people’s march”). It is an organized fitness walk for the community! Most community centers host a volksmarch at least once a year, and participants pay a small fee (1.50 Euros) to walk a 5, 10, or 15 km course that the organizers map out. This particular folksmarch happened to be through some beautiful forests…
Our 2 and 4 year old are currently pathetic walkers, so we took two strollers with us on the walk. Not exactly stroller-friendly, but more friendly than carrying a 4 year old on our hips the entire time
When the woods came to an end, we walked into a large field with farming nearby. Our 4 year old was forced to walk on this uphill section…
At least once during the course you are asked to present your card, in which a booth manager stamps it to prove you did the full course. You can stop at 5km, or choose to do a longer route.
Many dedicated walkers (like Pat & Mike) have little walking journal books that the staff stamps with the date, place, and distance walked at each volksmarch. Some events include small rewards for filling up a book, etc.
And of course, after the event there is always food. Not free food–but cheap.
For a fairly inexpensive price, you can get some regular German-fare food: Brats and french fries.
Ella & Jared had their first bratwursts in Germany.
Did you know Germans eat their french fries with little mini plastic forks? Really!
And of course, some German dessert for only 1 Euro is hard to pass up. We tried some cherry cake, and it wasn’t too bad. As it was pointed out to us, most German cakes aren’t very sweet—which is fine by me!
I love the idea of a healthy outdoor event each weekend. It seems funny to pay someone to let you walk, but then again…if that motivates people to actually get up and get moving…the more power to them!
Have you ever done a volksmarch?