Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fred Tour, Part 2: Friedrich Wilhelm II

On our only weekend in Berlin without guests or travel this month, we decided to take a long Sunday bike ride as a family out to Wannsee and Pfaueninsel.  Here is a shot of me when we first arrived at Wannsee.  (Please note: I have a very EXPENSIVE brain and always wear a bike helmut when riding!)

For all you history buffs out there: Yes, this is THAT Wannsee and you can tour the Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz (Houseof the Wannsee Conference) there.  I’m saving that tour for my WWII History loving Dad when he comes to visit.  If you aren’t a history buff, this is the place that some very ambitious Nazis cooked up the Endlösung (Final Solution), and if you don’t know what THAT is…well, I think you need to call your high school and complain about their horrible history education. 

We did not linger at that side of the lake long, as we were headed over to the Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island) that was only a couple more kilometers ride from where that picture was taken.  We meandered a bit because the girls fell asleep in the bike trailer, but we arrived just in time to have a small picnic before taking the ferry to the island.  Here we are after eating our delicious fare before heading over:

(Question: Does my stomach look like it's glowing?  Don't get excited or read anything into it, it's just a ray of light!  We are most assuredly done procreating!)

We paid €6 for the ferry to take us about 20m across to the island and spent a couple of hours touring around the island.  I'm not joking about the 20m--check it out in this picture from the dock:  

Being the silly parents we are, we forgot to unhook the trailer that converts to a stroller so ended up carrying the whining girls at least ½ of the time we were exploring the island.  The scenery and weather were soo beautiful that I really didn't mind that much.  They do actually have peacocks there.  Here is Annika thinking about whether or not she should actually try to pet one:

There is a castle there to check out--from the outside.      

Apparently this was the playground of Friedrich Wilhelm II King of Prussia, but frankly we just came for the scenery that day and not the history.  I needed to get out of town and enjoy the weather while punishing my body to get some of my PhD student anxiety out of my system.  Hooray for Vitamin D too!

And there are plenty of lovely paths all around the island.  Here is Andy with his lovely daughters.  

He chastised me for taking too many picture, but I kindly reminded him that someday we'll forget that they used to be this little.  (I'm also hoping we forget a few other things about when they are this little, like how frustrating they can be and potty-training insanity, but I have a feeling some memories will linger longer than others!  THEY told me I'd forget labor pain, and that memory is not fading at all!)

This building in the background is actually a private residence on the island, though I shudder to think how much that would actually cost.  The scenery is pretty great, and even more so with those two adorable girls in there.  

All in all it was a very lovely day for a long (25km+) bike ride out to this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  I think we will have to do it again.      


  1. I am embarrassed to say that I had to look up the history lesson and even more embarrassed to say that I cannot remember my high school history teachers' names! This looks like so much fun and I was just thinking about the prospect of pulling the kids in a bike trailer yesterday! You make it all look so easy!

  2. That bike trailer has been the best 100 Euro we've spent in a while. Our girls look soo adorable when they stop screaming to get out and start cuddly napping together in it. Easy: NO WAY! Fun: Definitely!



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