Many years ago...
…Santa Claus brought me something I had longed for quite some time: a puzzle. It had 1000 pieces, a massive number for my 6-year-old self, and I started making it, piece by piece, or, better said, building with building, right on Christmas day. It was 1996 and I was making my first puzzle, on the floor of the small apartment I grew up in.
Few years later
also around Christmas, I would convince my parents to join me on the living room floor and puzzle together. Each of us was in charge of one building – because the depicted scenery is from an unknown fairytale city. Never managed to finish all of it.
Years have passed, and now and then I would still unpack the puzzle – the last time it happened was when I was around 23. A couple and their adult daughter do a childhood puzzle in their small living room – and it warms my heart when I think about those nights at home, peeled oranges, the Christmas tree, Christmas carols running in the background. I know, the typical cliches.
After moving to Germany
I discovered by chance that the city in my childhood puzzle wasn’t invented by AI (AI wasn’t a thing back then anyway), and it has a name: Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
The trip to Rothenburg ODT was quite long, I was enthusiastic and inquisitive to finally see in real life a picture that I had stared at for many hours in my childhood. I remember, when I first arrived, that I had to walk through the scenery. My Airbnb was exactly on the other side of the Plönlein (that’s the name of the famous picture). I was staying 1-minute walking distance away from my childhood puzzle!
I left the Airbnb
and took a right towards the clock tower, walked through it, and it was easy to spot that I was… in the scenery. It was that easy because of the masses of tourists that were taking pictures! I didn’t know that MY city (yes, I gave myself permission to call it this way) was THIS famous! I decided not to turn, and keep walking until I reached the point where I suspected the picture in my puzzle had been taken.[Dramatic moment] As I turned, I couldn’t believe it!!! My city was so beautiful, the Plönlein looked exactly like in my puzzle, my imagination, my heart. All the details of the roof, the windows, the cobblestones, the little iron fence, even the geranium pots… were untouched by time. I cried a bit 🙂
has had a childhood dream, to see this city in real life someday, and I didn’t even know. As a memory of that day, I made a puzzle with the same scenery, but with me in it, it was a very unexpected gift for my parents!