Being Elite - Spring 2013 travel blog

Today's title could refer to this Baltic Adventure almost being at an end. We have one more long flying day, traveling from from Berlin to Chicago and then home at last. But this is also the first time we have had to pay an airline for transporting a suitcase. We've managed to evade this issue for a long time. We're using frequent flyer points for a free flight home on Air Berlin, an airline we had never heard of. With the free tickets we couldn't tell on the web what we were entitle to, but were expecting the one bag each for free. All those cruise clothes (and electronic gizmos) filled that extra case. Since we are coming home over two days, we didn't want to pay for that extra bag twice. So theoretically it's waiting at Tegel Airport to rejoin us tomorrow for the last leg of the trip. It's much easier to take risks with luggage on the way home. We met a woman on the cruise whose bag made it to the ship literally five minutes before we sailed. Nerve wracking! Airline personnel were a bit flummoxed by checking one bag through and the others only to Berlin. I trust the Danes and Germans to follow through. These folks have their act together.

Our Copenhagen cab driver was an impressive man linguistically. He was Afghani and spoke a decent English as well as Danish. He told us a cheery story about his first trip to the US when his immigration interview into the US took so long he missed his flight onward. The fact that his interviewer looked Chinese and had to his ears a strong accent, made the interview even more of a challenge for him. I would have probably been livid to be treated like that, but when you're from Afghanistan it apparently comes with the territory and he went on to tell us how much he enjoyed Orlando and visiting his relatives in Myrtle Beach.

Our Berlin hotel is almost half the price of the one in Copenhagen and much nicer. But the high prices do not seem to prevent tourists from visiting Scandinavia. The crowds were thick in Copenhagen and theoretically the high season has not quite begun yet. We walked to a local restaurant here in Berlin for dinner and no one there spoke English. That would not have happened in Scandinavia. It was fun to retrieve my German vocabulary from the back of my brain and give it a workout once again.

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