Bonn's Altstadt A rainy start doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm for cherry blossoms

Bonn · The cherry trees in Bonn are in full bloom - even though the season started out with less than stellar weather. What have local businesses and residents experienced in the first few days of the cherry blossom season? We asked around in the Altstadt.

 Nice weather over Easter attracted lots of visitors to the cherry blossoms in Bonn’s Altstadt.

Nice weather over Easter attracted lots of visitors to the cherry blossoms in Bonn’s Altstadt.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

A few raindrops are still falling from the cherry trees in Bonn's Altstadt. People stroll down Heerstrasse and Breite Strasse with cell phones and cameras and pose in front of the pink blossoms. They are not deterred by the forecast of rain. "The weather could be a bit better, but the flowers are really beautiful," say Pia Zimmermann and Lisa Denner. For the two 20-year-olds from Bad Godesberg and Wachtberg, the cherry blossom is a special wonder of nature. "And it's also a beautiful photo opportunity.”

Businesses differ in their impressions of how it’s going

Victoria Harlos, owner of the canvas print shop "Print & Paint" on Breite Strasse, sells her pictures of the cherry blossoms to tourists, but also to many people from Bonn. "I was surprised that so many people were here, even though the weather was bad," says the 50-year-old. She wonders how long the blossoms will be able to withstand the rain. "They're already starting to fall." Nevertheless, she's looking forward to Saturday: "There's a flea market here then.”

Meanwhile, "Café Camus" on Breite Strasse will remain closed on Saturday. "It's too much," explains owner Basim Ghomorlou. For him and his team, the period during the cherry blossom season is a real marathon. "It's nice for us all to take a little break then." The 39-year-old is not worried about rainy weather. During the cherry blossom season, there is always a lot more going on than usual, regardless of the weather. "We're not disappointed," he says. "It's been quite normal so far. We're used to April weather."

Fenja Niehof, an employee at the "Love Your Local Store" on Breite Strasse, has a similar view. "There was a lot going on in the last days despite the weather. The atmosphere was great," she reports. The 23-year-old is looking forward to the weekend with confidence in view of the sunny forecast: "I think it's going to be really good. Then we can keep the doors (to the shop) open, that always makes a big difference.”

Meanwhile, the assessment at "Banks van Liz" on Breite Strasse is less positive. "We've definitely noticed the rainy weather," says 32-year-old owner Lisa Zilch. "If the weather was a bit warmer and friendlier, it would probably be twice as busy at the moment. But that may yet come."

Parking bans and street closures are costing a few nerves for some

Bonn's cherry blossom season is a challenging time for local residents. Recently, the planned parking ban on Heerstrasse and Breite Strasse was an annoyance for some. Birgit Monschau and Marco Hermann from Castell are also critical of the parking ban. "We have friends in the Altstadt who have to search for where they can park. But I think it's much nicer for visitors," says Hermann. "I also don't know whether it's necessary," adds Monschau. Discounted parking spaces are reserved for residents in the Stadthaus garage and in the Beethoven parking garage, "but especially in view of the fact that residents' parking permits have become so expensive, it's a bit of a punch in the gut.”

Maricriz Memedovski finds the street closures in the Altstadt difficult. Speaking English, the 30-year-old, who lives on Breite Strasse, says her husband usually drives to work by car. "But he's on vacation next week, which is good," she says and chuckles. The fact that there are so many people on her doorstep during the cherry blossom season is sometimes too much for the young mother. But it is also nice to see how happy the visitors are about the spectacular blossoms. Memedovski also enjoys looking at the trees.

Ursula Schönershoven looks forward to the cherry blossom season every year. The 80-year-old has lived in Bonn's Altstadt since 1981 and has witnessed how the city planted the cherry trees and how they eventually developed into a worldwide hype. The throng of visitors has never annoyed her. "I like it," she says. "There are other people who come too: sometimes bridal couples when the weather is nice, and lots of children." The senior citizen likes to go for walks in the Altstadt during the cherry blossom season. As she doesn't have a car, the parking ban and street closures don't bother her. "I am perfectly happy. I'm happy when I see people. I open the window in the morning and see the flowers," she says and smiles. "At first I thought it wouldn't be good this year because of the weather. But then suddenly it was nice again."

(Orig. text: Christine Bähr / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)

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