Pink explosion: The cherry blossom phenomenon
They've been put on the Places to See Before You Die list. What's so spectactular about Bonn's cherry trees? DW's photographer Anke Staudacher presents eight perspectives on the annual cherry blossom sensation.
Every spring in Bonn's Altstadt - the picturesque Old Town in what used to be the German capital - the cherry blossoms take over the streets and draw crowds of spectators. Locals from Bonn as well as tourists from around the world are keen to walk through the narrow alleys, which seem to turn into radiant pink tunnels.
Explosion of color
The pink season begins with small buds that grow into light pink blossoms in the areas of the Altstadt that are sheltered from the wind. Once the first blossoms open up and take on their typical, intensive pink color, the cherry blossom seems to explode.
Three decades of bloom
There are two main roads in Bonn's Altstadt where the cherry blossoms make their most spectacular appearance, Breitestrasse and Heerstrasse. In 1984, the Japanese flowering cherry trees were planted there in order to improve the ecological situation and the living conditions in this part of the city.
The cherry blossom path in the Bonn Altstadt has been listed in several travel guides and voted several times as one of the Places to See Before You Die. In order to see and walk through this major attraction tourists try to plan their visit to Bonn according to the "pink season." Photographers have to fight over the perfect spot.
Despite the crowds, every visitor tries to get a one-of-a-kind shot. With such a fleeting backdrop, there's a sense of urgency among the photographers in the glowing lane.
The Altstadt is a central residential area and offers many quaint cafés, artists' workshops, boutiques, and small shops in the Art Nouveau-style houses that line its narrow streets. This area of Bonn is picturesque the rest of the year, too - but the cherry blossoms make it extra special.
Even at nighttime the cherry blossoms reveal their special magic. Thanks to the street lamps and the lighted windows, the pink blossoms are still striking. The one advantage is that the roads are less crowded and ambitious photographers have a better chance to get a picture without tripping over any pedestrians.
Calling all fairies
Towards the end of the cherry blossom season, which normally lasts up to 10 days, the branches start drooping due to the size of the blossoms and the petals drop to the sidewalk. Strolling through the Altstadt at that time can feel like traipsing along a pink silk carpet.