Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall
After two short flights on Brussels Airlines (part of the Star Alliance that was also part of our American Airlines All Airline award) Thursday we arrived at Berlin Tegel airport early afternoon. The heat was still punishing and the effects of our travels were starting to wear on us.
At an overweight 59 and overworked mid-50′s (I never tell her real age) we are less able to go, go, go day in and day out. All the walking on cobblestones in the Czech Republic had taken its toll. We took the cab ride in to town, past the Brandenburg Gate, and then took it easy in the afternoon.
Hilton Gold status from the Surpass card we got last year for $75 was paying off again as we were granted lounge access for free nibbles and drinks. The evening nibbles turned out to be fried shrimp and chicken kabobs that were in fact quite tasty. The Berlin Hilton is located the middle of the downtown area and we found ourselves in walking distance of many shops and restaurants and about 5 blocks from Checkpoint Charlie… but that would have to wait until Friday.
In our first room we could only use the wireless connection as the cable was broken. There was only one free computer in the lounge and at 85 degrees plus in there we decided to pay the outrageous price for wired internet and moved to another room. Glad we did.
After a great nights sleep we again enjoyed the benefits of gold status with one of the best free breakfasts I’ve ever had at a hotel. They had everything, with a large attentive staff and we got our monies worth.
It was still extremely warm and although we had promised ourselves a day off we walked the short distance to Checkpoint Charlie and then made our way over to one of the remaining sections of the Berlin Wall and the Museum of Terror next to the old SS Complex.
My history is bad and I appreciated the stories on the construction walls near Checkpoint Charlie and the information in the Museum. It was a somber morning and reminded Katy and I of our Day at Dachau.
Tomorrow we are doing the hop on and hop off bus tour at 20 euros each so we can see the sights without all the walking and the following day Wolfgang the concierge at the hotel recommended the canal tour around the city (17 euros each). With free hotels and flights, it makes it easier to spend a few bucks on comfortable transport options. After we’ve taken in the main attractions, we’ll still have time to use the metro and get to the out of the way places.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees, making this the go-to card for travelers.
This card accumulates Ultimate Rewards points, which are very valuable for transfer to United and Hyatt. Overall, this card is a great choice for maximizing earnings on dining, travel, and every day spend.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95