Cherry Blossoms Bloom In The Empty Streets of Bonn
Waqas Ahmad, a resident of Bonn, Germany, recalls the streets of Alstadt, the old town, before the coronavirus pandemic took over the world. A cherry blossom lost and a spring sans tourists, Germany grieves the loss of lives to the pandemic.
In the mid-80’s, the picturesque Japanese cherry blossom trees were planted on three different streets of the old town. For the past many years, these ornamental cherry blossoms have become the most beautiful feature of Bonn. This pink spectacle of flowers has made it to many ‘things to do’ lists of the world during spring. Until, now.
This year, however, everything is different. The coronavirus pandemic has brought life to a halt. The driving force behind Europe, Germany is one of the worst affected countries.
One of the most iconic places of Bonn, the Altstadt (old town), every spring, brings thousands of travellers from all over the world, between the first week to the mid of April to experience the beautiful cherry blossom trees in the Altstadt. The trees form a bright pink umbrella and cover the streets in their shade. The streets bustle with people. Families and friends plan meet-ups in the streets to witness the beautiful floras, taking photographs and enjoy the long-awaited spring.
The driving force beh
ind Europe, Germany is one of the worst affected countries. Due to the international travel restriction due to COVID-19, all potential tourists were deprived of visiting the beautiful 15-day spectacle this year. No
t only the international travellers, but the Bonners were also not allowed to visit these streets of the old town as per the restrictions on social gatherings, keeping the laws of public distancing intact. The most visited streets Breite Strasse and Heer Strasse were closed using barricades and city police only allowed the residents to pass through.
From March 22, 2020, all hotels in Germany had been closed completely. The absence of tourists especially at this time of the year, has badly impacted the economy of Bonn. In normal circumstances, at this time of the year, all hotels and rentals are completely booked and it is almost impossible to find a hotel room in Bonn. Bars and restaurants have never-ending queues, with a jam-packed city center, buzzing with the motley crowd. These tourists ignite the local economy, but unfortunately, this year is the opposite resulting in the closure of many small businesses.
According to the John Hopkins University Corona Resource Center; over 145,000 people have been infected with Coronavirus in Germany, whereas approximately 4700 people have lost their lives. Initial lockdown started from 22
March and ended on 19 April. Partial lockdown continues.
Spring in Bonn has not been celebrated this year. The people starved streets hope to cherish people and life next year and many years to come.