You want to see millions of cherry blossoms? As far as the eye can see? And you insist on seeing them right now? Go to Teltow before the next strong wind blows them off their trees.
Berlin, May 1st, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Berlin has the nicest cherry blossoms ever. The only problem with them is the fact that they are not really in Berlin, but in Brandenburg. But, hey, all those beautiful blossoms are located only a few feet from the border between Berlin and its only neighboring state. So, do those cherry blossoms still qualify as a Berlin attraction?
The TV Asahi Cherry Blossom Avenue is a park with hundreds of trees that were planted by the Japanese TV channel Asahi which collected donations for this purpose. The first ones were planted there in 1990, the last ones in 2010. If you want to see even more of them, you have to go to the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. or to Japan.
I took the long bicycle ride from Prenzlauer Berg to Teltow twice. In both cases I got there early. The blossoms were not in bloom yet. A week ago, I went yet again, by car. Same thing. Yesterday afternoon, my fourth attempt was successful. There were cherry blossoms all over the place. A local who lives in a house with a nice little garden located just a few steps from the TV Asahi Cherry Blossom Alley told me they had been in bloom since Wednesday. But any storm or strong rain can cause all of them to fall within minutes.
Countless Berliners, Brandenburgers and expatriates were there on Saturday. They walked through the alley, smelled the blossoms and photographed them. Then, they shot selfies with them. Some of the visitors spoke Japanese, others Vietnamese. There was a nice Mexican lady with her son and a friend from Uruguay, and a very kind gentleman from the United States who wore a jacket with the logo of an American school in Berlin.
The cherry trees are basically celebrating Germany’s reunification. It is not a coincidence that they were planted on a former death strip. Yes, this is exactly where the Berlin Wall stood, which separated the communist GDR from West Berlin. Today, the reunited capital’s Lichterfelde borough is just a few steps away. Back then, it was as well, but it could not be reached.
Getting to the TV Asahi Cherry Blossom Alley from Berlin’s city center is easy. Take the ‘S-Bahn’ train to ‘Lichterfelde Süd’ station and walk from there. You can also go by car or do what I did the first two times. A nice little bike ride to Teltow is a good training exercise. But go there yesterday. The blossoms will not be attached to the trees for much longer.