Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 29: My Neighbours

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 29: My Neighbours - More than just an Excursion

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 29: My Neighbours

More than just an Excursion

A recurring group of figures that you can find in ‚Heidelberg wimmelt‘ is a group of travel-happy women. With a city map in hand, even though all of the ladies have smart phones, they explore the most beautiful places in Heidelberg. These are my neighbors.

Whether as working women or enjoying retirement, they untertake a trip to a different city once a year. Friday afternoon usually after 2pm they start off from Braunschweig. The trips are planned a few months in advance, the train tickets booked as a group ticket and a small, 3 or more star hotel selected and reserved. The trips were initiated by a neighbor to provide for good vibes in the neighborhood and a few days without our husbands.

I admire my five neighbours who take over the travel planning. During their travels they visit a cabaret, usually on the second evening, because the first evening is arrival and until the group gets to the hotel, checks in, unpacks and meets again in the lobby, a few hours have already passed. When I go with them, it sometimes takes longer... I often don't notice how time flies and need more time to have than actually agreed upon. Fashionably late. No matter. It's a mini-vacation anyway.

Have you ever gone on a group trip? Just like in those reality programs on tv, the group personality types emerge. There are the group leaders, the go-along types, the one-for-all-and-all-for-one types, the indecisive ones and the ones who like to stir things up. (Guess which part I play).

We've already been to Potsdam, Bremen, and Berlin. I didn't go on this past year's trip. My work had priority.

At the train station everyone is in happy mood. My neighbor, who lives in the row behind our house, distributes small bottles of sparkling wine on the train, someone always has chips or some other snack. You have to, because experience has shown that the trains tend to have delays.

It is nice to be part of the group, but at the same time it does feel a little taxing for me. I must confess, oh wonder, that I am actually an introverted lone wolf. In small groups of 2 or 3, I socialize best; to speak in front of a larger group can bring out the best in me; but, making small talk with others just brings me across the threshold of my limits. And maybe that's why I'm happy to go.

Have you ever gone on a group trip? Just like in those reality programs on tv, the group personality types emerge. There are the group leaders, the go-along types, the one-for-all-and-all-for-one types, the indecisive ones and the ones who like to stir things up. (Guess which part I play).

When I'm traveling, I love to visit museums and galleries. I like to sit down to draw something or someone. And I don't like to ride a bus if it can be avoided. My neighbours like to make city tours on the bus. I already feel ill when I think about the bus jostling up and down. So I apologize to the group and paint while everyone is doing the tour and we meet afterwards for coffee and cake. What do you like to do when you take a short vacation? Tell me about it in the comments.

Two of the group are always willing to accept the group's suggestions. They just want to have a nice trip and experience something new. It becomes problematic only when two wishes are on the table, such as museum visits or shopping at a chain clothing store.

In reality, my neighbours have not travelled to Heidelberg yet (except one). It is something we will have to do together.

There's just so much to see in Heidelberg. I believe that a visit to the castle would appeal to everyone in the group. And a city tour in the Cabriobus would be perfect for them (whereas I'm not sure it would be right for me, on the one hand I don't do well on busses, generally, on the other, it is a Cabriobus with an open roof and it is Heidelberg). The pedestrian zone has quite a lot to offer and also has great cafes and restaurants.

And there are also the tourists' ships on the Neckar. I took a river cruise two years ago with my relatives and found the tour surprisingly very relaxing and a bit 'romantic' seeing at all these old castles from afar. Take a look at the slides below, you'll see some of my private photos from Heidelberg. I find the structures of the sandstones of the castle beautiful and the bustle on the market simply fascinating.

With so much to see, to experience, to explore, to taste, to do... who would not feel drawn to Heidelberg?

If you haven't taken a trip to Heidelberg yet, I recommend my book, ‚Heidelberg wimmelt‘. Explore it as a form of preparing for your trip or simply go on a discovery trip and surf from your sofa with my wimmelbook. which you can get from your favorite book seller, directly from the Silberburg-Verlag publishing house, or from an online bookstore of your choice. Make up some I-Spy quizzes, e.g. Who can find the neighbor who likes to take very nice photos?. Do you have questions about my picture stories? Write them down in the comments section. I'll be happy to answer your questions.

Valentine's Day is almost here!

If you have a favorite animal (or favorite person) you want to have drawn, get in touch with me. Valentine's Day is soon and an illustration for your sweetheart is guaranteed to be a beautiful gift. Just send me a request. By the way, I also draw portraits of people.

See you next week!

Subscribe to my blog via email

Don't miss any hidden object fun! Get my Wimmelsuchtipps directly in your mail box!

Join 732 other subscribers

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 28 – Heidelberg’s Peregrine Falcon

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 28 – Heidelberg's famous peregrine falcons above the Holy Spirit Church

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 28 – Heidelberg's Peregrine Falcon

In Heidelberg, high up in the tower of the Holy Spirit Church live peregrine falcons which you see in my illustration wearing red Christmas hats. Heidelberg is proud of its peregrine falcons.

Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II

Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II's "About the Art of Hunting with Birds" Two Falconers (source Wikipedia)
Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II's "About the Art of Hunting with Birds" Two Falconers (Source: Wikipedia)

Historically, falconry has always been a noble art. The Hohenstaufen Emperor Friederich II even kept journals about it. He loved the falcon hunt and he practically developed his hobby into a science. He invited many Egyptian and Arabian Falconers to his court, had Arabic hunting literature translated and collected many works on the science of birds. Friederich himself wrote a book called 'De arte venandi cum avibus' (About the Art of Hunting with Birds), which later became the definitive work for zoology in the 13th Century. This work was considered so valuable that the manuscripts were stolen by citizens of the besieged city of Parma in 1248.

"Goosezilla"

The peregrine falcons in Heidelberg have a hard time reproducing, because the Egyptian geese, who have made themselves at home in Heidelberg, often fly into the falcons' nest box and scare off the brooding parents.  But in 2016 scientists from Bonn developed a smart nesting box, which works with image recognition. It is programmed to frighten away the Egyptian geese with flashes and noises emulating a storm. Unfortunately it was not mentioned on the ag-wanderfalken.de page 2016 whether the modern nest box was successful or not.

This missing information felt almost like a cliffhanger in a movie, because on the day that I visited the ag-wanderfalken.de homepage there was no further entry in the submenu about how the saga went on in 2017.

But I later discovered a glimmer of hope: a recording of the webcam from 27.12. 2017. The falcon sits alone and listens to the tower bells ringing in the early morning. I decided to ask Mr. Gäng, who is responsible for the website. He said "Goosezilla" was successfully repelled. I think we can all breath a sigh of relief. The peregrine falcon chicks are really sweet and fluffy, who can resist them? Nevertheless, this current reprieve from the Egyptian goose doesn't mean real 'peace' for the falcons. They need your help.

Who can resist such cute fluffy balls of feathers? Photo ©Hans Martin Gäng, Verein AG peregrine Falcon Heidelberg, photo of the peregrine falcon with its chicks

The Association for Peregrine Falcons AG Heidelberg

The peregrine falcons are native to Heidelberg and the Association for Peregrine Falcons Heidelberg supports them with nest boxes, not only in the Holy Spirit Church but throughout the region. This work is time-consuming and also means that the association needs donations to keep the nest boxes in order. The NABU Heidelberg accepts donations for this. If you want to help this noble bird that has accompanied Heidelberg throughout history, visit www.ag-wanderfalken.de. There you will find information about donations and the issuing of donation receipts. Besides, this website is incredibly fascinating.

Just as fascinating are the stories in 'Heidelberg wimmelt', many of which are based on true stories. Go on a voyage of discovery through my wimmelbook, 'Heidelberg wimmelt', which you can get from your favorite book seller, directly from Silberburg-Verlag publishing house , or from an online bookstore of your trust.

Once you have it you can ask each other I-spy questions, e.g. who can find the Egyptian geese and where? (Tip, not at the Holy Spirit Church – not anymore). You can also ask your own questions about the picture stories in the comments section below. I'll be happy to answer them.

If you have a favorite animal you want to have drawn, just get in touch with me. Valentine's Day is soon and an illustration for your sweetheart is guaranteed to be a beautiful gift. Just send me a request. By the way, I also draw portraits of people, too.

See you next week!

Subscribe to my blog via email

Don't miss any hidden object fun! Get my Wimmelsearchtipps directly in your mail box!

Join 732 other subscribers

Auch in Heidelberg wimmelt wimmelt es vor Hunden. Zwei kleine Hunden beschnuppern sich auf dem Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt.

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 27 – It’s a Dog’s World

"Heidelberg abounds" Wimmelsuchtipp of the week 27 – Dogs in Heidelberg wimmelt this Illustration shows two dogs at the Heidelberg Christmas Market, who are sniffing each other.

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of week 27 – It's a Dogs World

The Christmas school holidays are almost over, but the days are still short and the nights are dark. Even though we want to try to do more sports in the New Year and get up off the couch more often, the darkness acts like a guard that incites our weaker selves against us. The Germans call our weaker self an "inneres Schweinehund", literally a pig-dog.

If you own a dog, you have to face that beast – your own pig dog – in order to face the elements. Even if it rains. Even if it snows, no matter what weather... if the dog's gotta go… he's gotta go. And then Mom or Dad grabs the leash, layers their clothing according

Read More

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 26 – On Santa’s Lap

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 26 – On Santa's Lap

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 26 – On Santa's Lap

All over the world, children meet Santa Claus – with awe or with great joy – confiding their wishes to him. I suppose that was the case with you when you were little if you celebrated Christmas.

We are still in the midst of the 12 days of Christmas, which ends on January 6th with the visit of the Magi. My family is Lutheran and I really only knew the 12 days of the Christmas from the English song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". I'm sure you know it... on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree; on the second day two turtle doves; on the third day three French hens and so on until the whole hall is filled with gifts (and lots of birds). Well, anyone who knows me and my ornithophobie (fear of birds) can certainly imagine that a gift of fluttering birds would really not be quite right for me. (Even if I had to overcome my fear of birds for 'Heidelberg wimmelt')

All over the world, children meet Santa Claus – with awe or with great joy – confiding their wishes to him.

We often want something for Christmas, especially as children, which we saw in an ad or is currently trendy (Remember Cabbage Patch Kids and Beanie Babies?) Of course I was

Read More

Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 25 – the Christ Child and the Angel’s Violin

"Heidelberg is teeming" Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 25 – the Christ Child with His angels and a special violinist at the Heidelberg Christmas market

Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 25 – the Christ Child and the Angel's Violin

In Heidelberg there are angels, dressed in white and gold. They accompany the Christ Child, who traditionally comes to the ecumenical church service in the big market place to open the Christmas market in Heidelberg.  Especially in southern Germany it is the Christ child and not Santa Claus who brings the Christmas presents to the children. Usually the "child" is a tall blond with angelic curls and golden dress.  Originally, children in the 16th and 17th Century would have to recite their Chatechism in order to receive a present. I think this custom was later changed into a less religious ritual of reciting poems and singing a song, a performance which is still practised in some places. I also find it highly interesting that the figure of the Christ Child as a gift giver appears mainly in Catholic areas particularly in Southern Germany, as it is supposedly Martin Luther who made this figure popular. In Protestant northern Germany, it is the ‘Christmas Man’ (aka St. Nicolaus or Santa Clause) who arrives on Christmas Eve. But perhaps because there are so many good children in southern Germany, that Santa Claus has to help out in the cooler northern part of the country. This work arrangement means that our little ones do not go empty-handed at Christmas.  In my illustration from 'Heidelberg wimmelt' there is an additional angel,dressed in everyday clothes. It is a young girl pictured with her very special violin. I got to know Leena Harim at the marketplace where I sketched people for my wimmelbook, 'Heidelberg wimmelt'. She told me about her violin, which is about 250 years old and later even sent me a photo of the it. The instrument has a wonderful deep color, like cognac, which glimmers in the light. I am sure that a girl with such a beautiful, historic violin plays melodies like an angel. I am sure that a girl with such a beautiful, historic violin plays melodies like an angel. Music is not just a gift of talent, it is also a present to the fortunate ones who listen.
Solution to the Wimmelsuchtipp of the week 24 Wimmel-Sleuthing-Wizards Quiz: How many of Nicolaus' helpers are at the Heidelberg Christmas market in 'Heidelberg wimmelt'? There are three on the market Square, one in the hut and five on the rooftops. And one is playing the trumpet standing in the window of the town hall. 
On Sunday I also posted a present for my blog-readers. A freebie kit (DIN A4) for crafting (LED)candle-lit angels. (Look here for US-Letter format) More than 144 combinations of angels are possible. If you don't like angels you can simply omit the wings. If you need more, you can combine the dresses or use my stencil to make your own figures. The kit is only available for download up to December 31, 2017, and it is fast and easy to make, for example make some for your table or for the window sill. And for educators and primary school teachers it is a beautiful project for the darker winter months. Christmas is approaching. Here in the north I have learned that many adults who have a connection to Heidelberg love a gift of the special variety: my wimmelbook, 'Heidelberg abounds', which you can get from your favorite book seller, directly from the Silberburg-Verlag publishing house, or from a online bookstore of your choice. It makes a really nice gift for Christmas. Children look forward to meandering through 'Heidelberg wimmelt' with the Wandermice, too. As this is probably my last Wimmelsearchtipp of the Week post before Christmas, I would like to wish you Happy Holidays. If you are on the road, drive carefully and get home safely! Merry Christmas!

Subscribe to my blog via email

Don't miss any hidden object fun! Get my Wimmelsuchtipps directly in your mail box!

Join 732 other subscribers

Wenn die Engel singen. Ein leuchtender Engelschor zum Selberbasteln. Abgebildet sind 4 multikulturelle Engellaternen

When Angels Sing

When Angels Sing – Create Angels all Aglow for the Holidays

When Angels Sing

I don't know how many of my blog readers go to Christmas Mass or have ever been to one at all. When I was in Kindergarten and Nursery School, my family always went to the early Christmas Mass at 6pm; when we were school children we got to attend the late Midnight Mass.

As children, we loved the Christmas Mass, because, unlike the Sunday masses, it was somehow magical. There was the huge decorated Christmas tree behind the altar. As a child I always wondered what toys were wrapped up in the huge gift boxes under the tree (and who got them). But the best thing for me was two songs that we sang every year at this special service. The first was "Angels we have heard on High" with its swaying refrain 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo'. During the refrain the organ resonated so loudly so that even the most tone-deaf among the church goers lost their fear of singing. The organs bellowing sound forgave everyone's off-key singing.  

The second song was 'Silent Night.' Our church was founded by German immigrants who gave up speaking German during World War II as proof of their loyalty to the new homeland, disontinuing worship in German, using English instead. Nonetheless stanzas of this song were occasionally sung in German. 

When the song was over, we stood up and carried our burning candles out in a procession to place them gently in the snow. It was really quiet and everyone – especially the children – completed this task with great care and reverence.

I remember the choir master with her long blond hair wearing her angelic choir robe. She sat on a high stool in front of the altar and played this hymn on her guitar. Meanwhile, the lights dimmed slowly. A single candle lit the other ones, row by row,until all of the candles of the congregation – even the children's – were lit with one communal flame. When the song was over, we stood up and carried our burning candles out in a procession to place them gently in the snow. It was really quiet and everyone – especially the children – completed this task with great care and reverence. The candlelight in the dark of the night shown against the whiteness of the snow. It was an awe-inspiring. I imagined that the angels were with us at that peaceful moment.

My Gift to You

When I was asked to take part in a challenge to develop something for my blog for the Advent and Christmas season, these scenes came to my mind. Today I want to give you a little bit of my Christmas. Below you'll find links to a free crafting printable, that you can download to make your own luminated choir of angels with. 

There are 12 faces and 12 dresses, 12 wings and 24 hands – enough for 144 different angels. Since not all Angels have pretty blonde curls, I have given each angel's face its own unique appearance. In case you need more than 144 angels for your angelic chorus, I have also attached a template for your own creations. 

Finally, a few more tips: it's easier if you use a pair of paperclips and a hair band or rubber band as third and fourth helping hands until the glue dries. I put a hair band around the base of the angel after I wrapped the dress around the candle and put the paperclips over the sleeves and wings until all the glue was dry. 

Decorating your angels is easiest when the paper pieces lie flat on the work surface. 

You don't need any special knowledge or equipment, just scissors, glue and a printer, as well as a bit of parchment or baking paper. And if you don't have an LED tea light, don't worry. They still are pretty without one. But please think about safety when using LED tea lights and do not let them burn unattended.

Freebie Printable to Download

My choir of angels is designed for LED tea lights and is a nice decoration for the festive holiday table. You can download the free DIN A4 crafts sheets here. And if you can only print with a US letter printing format, I have a version ready for that, too. I'll keep the downloads available until New Year's Eve 2017.

Have fun creating your own choir of angels! I would make me very happy if I could post your angel choirs in an upcoming blog. Write to me info@hoffman-illustrates.com and subscribe to my blog if you would like to participate in other promotions and occasional freebie downloads.

Engellaterne Der Engel hat dunkle Haut und ein blaues , mit Glitzer verziertes Kleid.
Engellaterne. Dieses Engel trägt eine Brille und ein glitzerndes Engelskleid. Es ist ein kleines Lampion
Dieser Engel hat rötliches Haar und trägt ein hell-gelbes Engelskleid. Sein Heiligenschein besteht aus einem glitzenden Pfeiffenreiniger. Es ist ein kleines Lampion.

Subscribe to my blog via email

Don't miss out on the fun! Get my Wimmelsearchtips, freebies and information about hoffmanillustrates! delivered directly to your mailbox!

Join 732 other subscribers

Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 24 – St. Nicolaus is coming!

'Heidelberg wimmelt' Wimmelsearchtip of the week 24 – St. Nicolaus is here! One of the many St. Nick's helpers is disguiese like St. Nicolaus and gives sweets to a Kindergarten group at the Heidelberg Christmas market.

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the week 24 – St. Nick is here!

Today is one of German children's favorite holidays. It's St. Nicolaus Day. Yesterday all around Germany, children were busy cleaning their boots so that they shine like gold and diamonds. The tradition says, that whoever puts their boots on the stoop of the front door and was a good kid last year will get a visit from St. Nicolaus, who fills the shoes with small gifts and sweets. That keeps St. Nicolaus very busy. And explains why he has to wait until Christmas Eve in America to fill the children's stockings there. 

Are you a Santa Sleuth? How many St. Nicolaus figures can you find im my 'Heidelberg wimmelt' Christmas market scene?

That's why at the Christmas Market in Heidelberg St. Nick has a lot of helpers handing out chocolate to the children. Here the Kindergarten group is surrounding one of them. We adults know that it is not easy to manage Christmas alone. A helper or two or three is a must. And perhaps we should remember that we don't need to bake 30 kinds of cookies, nor do all the rooms in our home have to sparkle as if they were just visited by a unicorn spewing glitter.

Let's face it, how many women are reading this and thinking, "But... "But nothing," I say. We set our own expectations. We want everything to be 'perfect'. Me, too. But over the years I have learned from my own children that my idea of a 'perfect Christmas' deviates quite strongly from theirs. 

Let's start with the children's ideas of how Christmas should be. What do they really want? How long will they remember the new phone you gave them? Think of your own memories of Christmas Past. Maybe here and there a beloved toy will appear in those memories, but for me it was the gravy for the turkey and pies my grandma baked, the red-and-white swirled candy canes we adorned the tree with. The songs we sang together... 

My father had always managed to select the saddest looking fir tree. My mother's brother often teased him about it. But just like in Charlie Brown's Christmas, when the colourful lights finally were lit, the old tree decorations and the tinsel were hung, it was the most beautiful Christmas tree in the world. 

And now tell me, what do you remember from your childhood? What was your most beautiful Christmas? The year of the Carrera racetrack? The year of the Legos? Barbies? Or was it the time you spent with your family?

So here's my suggestion on St. Nicolaus Day: Keep it simple. Just do things that you enjoy for Christmas. Make some Christmas cards if you feel like it. And have someone help you. Young children are happy to help. The teens might groan and complain that they aren't 'babies' anymore, but actually they do want to be 'little' again (with all the benefits and none of the responsibilities) and join in the fun. Your home doesn't have to be cleaner than usual. Play some music or croon some tunes yourself. It'll put you into a good mood and increase your anticipation of Christmas. 

Enjoy the winter time, contemplate the meaning of Advent and, above all, take it easy and maybe leave out something that you really don't enjoy doing. That is your own gift to yourself.

Another gift of the extra-special sort: My wimmelbook, 'Heidelberg wimmelt' that you can get from your favorite book store, directly from the Silberburg publishing house, or from an online bookstore of your choice is really a nice present for Christmas. Also as a special memento for friends who have studied or lived there. 


In another piece of business – My WordPress plug-in conflicts: Eureka! I have solved the plug-in conflict. (Hopefully) The unwanted slashes have disappeared.

In the next few weeks I will be working on reconfiguring my website so that you can navigate it better. Soon there will be a new landing page design and I'll be tidying up my portfolios and adding a few new works.

I ask for a little patience, because I am not only my own boss, but also my own personal assistant and my own IT-technician. If you would like to be notified about important changes in my site, then subscribe to my blog, which not only gives you the best wimmelsearchtips—it will inform you about important updates and include small bonuses, event notices and tips)

Subscribe to my blog via email

Don't miss any hidden object fun! Get my Wimmelsearchtips directly into your mail box!

Join 732 other subscribers

Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 23, Frau Hoelle lets it snow

"Heidelberg abounds" Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 23 – Frau Hoelle shakes snow onto the Christmas market

Heidelberg abounds – Wimmelsearchtip of the week 23 – Frau Hoelle at the Christmas Market

When I was a schoolchild, maybe about 6 years old, we sang songs for Christmas from an old Christmas songbook with my grandma and grandpa. My grandfather was a German who emigrated to America. My grandmother's parents were also from Germany, from Upper Auerbach (Oberauerbach) in the Palatinate. In my naive thoughts and fantasy, I imagined that it must be wonderful to come from far away Germany and everything that had to do with my grandparents was "German" for me. That applied to the Christmas songbook we sang from with its beautiful illustrations, lithographs of singing children, of the good King Wenceslas, who went through the thick snowstorm with his knave to help the poor. Perhaps it was this illustration that made me believe that it always snows all over Germany at Christmastime. I can feel many Northern Germans suppressing a grin right now. But yes. I really did believe that. 

When I became an immigrant and began celebrating Christmas in Germany, I learned the truth the hard way. It was cold but there was not a bit of snow to be seen. Often there has been cold rain showers around Christmas. I live in Lower Saxony, less than an hour away from the Harz. From November on in the Harz Mountains it does snow, but in this quiet valley region where I live, it doesn't snow a bit. 

The neighbours, many were pensioners over 70, admired the diligence of my children, and occasionally rewarded them with chocolate or books for this "commendable task". I smiled. But I knew the truth.

It was a disappointment, I must say, when my juvenile imagination had to be confronted with the reality of the North German weather. Especially when my children were still young. It almost never snowed at Christmas. And when the snow came, they cheered loudly and disappeared outside, grabbing one of their plastic sleds and their shovels, and shovelling every snowflake onto the sled they could find. The neighbours, many were pensioners over 70, admired the diligence of my children, and occasionally rewarded them with chocolate or books for this "commendable task". I smiled. But I knew the truth. My children gathered the snow because they wanted to build a snowman. The snow in the garden wasn't even enough to make a snowball with. The results of their work? That was often a knee-high snowman, with a carrot nose and stone eyes. 

That is why you hardly see any snow in my illustration of the Heidelberg Christmas market in my wimmelbook. The only snow that is falling, falls out of a pillow shaken by Frau Hoelle, the German's equivalent to Mother Goose. (If you aren't familiar with German fairy tales, everytime Frau Hoelle shakes out her pillow and her comforter, it snows here on earth) And it's that little bit of snow that reminds me of the joy and efforts of my children, their jubilation about snow at Christmas, jubilation about having fun and joy in their work and a jubilation about Christmas, itself. 

This little vignette that I am presenting to you today is not particularly large and measures only a tiny 4.5 cm wide in the original drawing. It's even smaller in the wimmelbook. So you need good eyes (and maybe a child) to find it. And below Frau Hoelle on the Christmas Market? There are two snowmen, full of joy because it is finally snowing in time for Christmas.  

Look for them and Frau Hoelle in Heidelberg wimmelt. My hidden image book, Heidelberg wimmelt, is available from your favorite book store, directly from the Silberburg Verlag publishing house, or from an online bookstore of your choice and makes a really nice gift for Christmas. It is a fantastic memento for friends who have studied or lived there. 


In Other Business – WordPress plug-in conflicts: the drama continues. First, I apologize about the slashes that are next to quotation marks. This is truly annoying, especially in English. If this website changes its appearance temporarily or won't load properly or in the customary style, it is because I am searching for the problem maker. I'll be working on it in the evenings until I find a solution. Thank you for your patience. 

Subscribe to my blog via email

Don't miss any hidden object fun! Get my Wimmelsuchtipps directly in your mail box!

Join 732 other subscribers

Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 22 – Storks at the Christmas Market

"Heidelberg abounds" tip of week 22, The Storks at the Christmas Market; Illustration of a young family at the Heidelberger Christmas Market

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 22 – Storks at the Christmas Market

Welcome to the Christmas market and welcome to the new Wimmelsearchtip of the week! Last week I asked you to do some sleuthing, namely to find the pregnant couple whose story threads through Heidelberg wimmelt.  It wasn't that difficult. Or was it? Did you need a child to help you to solve the riddle? In today's picture you see that couple again.

In today's picture you see that couple again. With storks. And with a baby buggy! The baby is finally here. The endless waiting has come to a close and life has a new beginning. That round baby belly is now a tiny human, delicate yet more robust than we sometimes like to believe. 

It is the Christmas season and this young family is visiting the Christmas market.

For me, Christmas means a new beginning. One yearns for this day because, just like the birth of a child, it stands for the miracle of life. That old, perhaps messed-up life is now history, at least for this one night. The foolish things we did, the careless words that have slipped from our tongues, the guilty feelings of having done something wrong or not having done them well enough are forgiven at this moment. We want to believe that from now on, everything will be better. 

And the anticipation of Christmas? The preparations. The endless baking of Christmas cookies and trying to build the largest gingerbread house ever, getting Christmas decorations down from the attic (I have a friend who has so many Christmas things that she has to rent a garage to store them in). Figuring out what to serve for the holidays (we eat less traditionally, because on Christmas Eve there is almost always a homemade lasagna, yes also the lasagne noodles are homemade) and the tree!  

The Christmas tree was at first a contentious point in my marriage. My husband wanted to wait until Christmas Eve to set it up, as many Germans do. But staying true to my American traditions,I wanted it up as early as possible. And besides, I'm happy when it is lit up in the evening and I'm happy because every bit of Christmas tree decorations carries a memory and a personal story behind it. And I am happy, yes, like a child at Christmas, simply because of the anticipation of Christmas.

I continue the tradition of my childhood: Every Christmas, I give my husband, my daughter and my son some Christmas tree decorations as a present, sometimes funny, sometimes kitschy, sometimes of high-quality glas or porcelain. Something to remind them of this special day. It is a reminder that we are together and share the hope of a wonderful future. 

That's all it takes to be Christmas.

Just enjoy it. Enjoy it with a stroll around the Christmas market, breathing in the scents of the Christmas stands, mulled wine, gingerbread and Pöffertjes (a Dutch treat, popular here in Northern Germany, kind of like fried dough). Create your own new traditions. Let me know which ones you carry on from your childhood. Maybe I'll draw them in my sketchbook and present them here. 

Take some time and wander through the Christmas market in my Wimmelbook, Heidelberg wimmelt. Reading together at Christmas time is also a pleasure. 

Haven't you got my Heidelberg wimmelt? My wimmelbook, Heidelberg wimmelt, is available from your favorite book seller, directly from the Silverburg-Verlag publishing house, or from an online bookstore of your choice.


In other business – I have some conflicts with a WordPress plug-in: First, I apologize if slashes stand defiently next to single quote marks. I think I have found the culprit, but unfortunately I need it to write this blogpost and to be able to read my website statistics. I contacted the plug-in support and I am working towards fixing the site. Thank you for your patience.

Subscribe to my blog via email

Don't miss any hidden object fun! Get my Wimmelsearchtips directly in your mail box!

Join 732 other subscribers

Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 21 – Fit and Pregnant

Heidelberg wimmelt' tip of the week 21, Fit and Pregnant, Illustration of pregnant women on the Koenigstuhl in Heidelberg while doing Nordic Walking.

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week – 21 – Fit and Pregnant – with an extra tip for a fun fall wimmelsearch

The Königstuhl in Heidelberg has the perfect Nordic Walking course in its mixed forest full of earthy scents. The sun shines on the tall trees and casts shadows, which form a picturesque contrast to the brightly lit forest floor and meandering paths. I love the flaming colors of autumn, and love to walk through colorful forests. Do you too? It is good for the soul and lets your most inner thoughts grow wings and fly. I can imagine my pregnant ladies that I illustrated in 'Heidelberg wimmelt' feel the same way. I was also once a sporty pregnant woman when I worked at the package design agency in Braunschweig, riding 28 km a day back and forth to work on my bike. (I don't like riding busses and would even ride my bike in Winter)

Isn't it so that when mothers see pregnant women that they automatically think back to their own pregnancy? Those magnificently round bellies gently swaying with new beings are the hopes of our future and also the reason that many people involuntarily smile with joy. 

Just look at the picture and tell me how many pregnant women you see. Did you say three? No. Look again. Three expectant mothers are indeed running through the forest on this sunny autumn day, but in fact there are four pregnant women in this little illustration. If you look at the couple on the bench at the funicular station, you will see that this woman is also expecting and is very pregnant… she’s almost ready to burst. She is at that last stage of pregnancy where sleeping on your belly feels just as comfortable as sleeping on a basketball. Only the basketball won't kick you when you do. 

And now I'm going to give you a little sleuthing to do: Find the woman and her partner in 'Heidelberg wimmelt.' Search every page. I'd be interested to see how many of my readers are good detectives. If you need help, ask a child. I can hardly believe how quickly children can perform search tasks – sometimes I need a pair of glasses myself to find my own figures again. It's a fun pastime especially when the days of November get dark so early. 

Let me know in the comments below how quickly you solved the riddle. And if you tried searching together with a child — who found the expectant couple faster?  

Haven't you got 'Heidelberg wimmelt'? You can get my hidden image book 'Heidelberg wimmelt' from your favorite book seller, directly from the publisher, Silberburg-Verlag, or from an online bookstore of your choice.

Don't miss any Wimmelfun! Register today for the FREE newsletter! If you would like to know something about a certain characters and mini-stories in 'Heidelberg wimmelt', then write your questions in the comments. I'd be happy to hear them and tell you more about the background stories. 


On my own behalf: Since the last WordPress update I have apparently have conflicts with a WordPress plug-in. Unfortunately, I don't know which one is the culprit that inserts slashes where I want quotation marks and removes the leading between paragraphs. I will try to solve the problem this weekend. If my site is offline or looks strange when you visit, please have patience. It probably is only me putzing around trying to fix it so that the site's content displays correctly again. I thank you for your patience (and apologize for the current wonky look of the blog).

Subscribe to my blog via email

Don't miss any hidden object fun! Get my Wimmelsuchtipps directly in your mail box!

Join 732 other subscribers