At first glance, Jan Lehmann is a man with a jolly, confident air. The 54-year-old lives in the Eifel, a hilly region in western Germany that is famous for its beautiful nature: Mountains, valleys, small rivers and lakes, rock formations and miles and miles of forest. Two years ago, Lehmann started his own business with his wife, Sandra. They rent out 18 vacation homes that they lease, along with the land and forest that go with them. They have a 15-year contract with the properties’ owner, who has insisted on full payment of the lease even in lockdown. A few of the houses, made of thick Canadian-looking tree trunks, stand in the small village of Gemünd on the edge of the Eifel National Park. In front of the roofed terraces, the little river Urft gurgles, and the birds chirp. It is especially quiet — no guests have checked in here since early November. “From the time of the first lockdown in spring 2020, we’ve been closed for six months altogether and had no income in that time,” says Jan Lehmann gloomily as he looks up into the tall trees. The vacation homes are deserted, no guests have checked in since November… Read full this story
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