Sunday Street Stories: Berlin’s “ruined” church

When I visited Berlin a year and a half ago, I headed to Kurfurstendamm to shop. As the stores’ window displays tempted me, my eyes fell on a strange church across the street. It looked around a century old and the spire seemed ripped off.

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Despite the construction work going on, there were no signs of fixing the spire. I wondered, why would the technically-perfect Germans allow a church to stay in its damaged state?

It took me some time to find the answer. This church (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church), built in the 1890s was partly destroyed by an air bombing in 1943. In the 1950s, restoration plans were developed but the public and  powers that be decided to keep the ruined tower as a reminder of the futility of war. Instead, a new building was constructed near the original. The result: this hexagonal building by architect Egon Eiermann.

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Pictures taken on: June 1, 2014
Location: Berlin, Germany
Device: Google Nexus 5

Travel Thursday: 10 apps for stress-free vacations

I’m obsessed with travel so before a vacation, I spend HOURS looking up new destinations, hotels, flight fares, attractions, tips and advice. And on vacation, I rely on my mobile devices to help me navigate make the most of my (too short) holiday.

Planning a vacation is isn’t easy. There are too many things to do- choosing a destination, planning an itinerary, booking flights, hotels… you get the drift. It’s bound to drive anyone up the wall. But since I’ve begun using my mobile phone to plan, book and track my vacation, the whole process has been relaxed and a lot of fun! Seriously our phones are the ultimate travel tool.

Here are my top 10 travel apps available on Microsoft devices to make your holiday planning and vacations a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Note: All these apps have been downloaded and tested on the Microsoft Lumia 535.

For Trip Planning and Discovery

HappyTrips

HappyTrips will inspire travellers with listicles and features, along with destination mini guides, hotel and attractions information and more. For example, the Berlin section includes guides on shopping, outdoors and museums in and around the city.

HappyTrips mobile app 

TripAdvisor

Can any trip be complete without reading what the TripAdvisor community has to say? TA has been my go-to app for the longest time now- I especially rely on the community to research hotels (I’m finicky about those!) and sightseeing options.

TripAdvisor windows mobile app

Burrp

I’ve been relying on Burrp since way back to locate new restaurants! 🙂 Now I use the app to discover the best places to eat, party, shop, indulge or chill. Keep this app handy for trips around India.

Burrp windows mobile app 

For Trip Booking

Kayak

Kayak is the easiest way to booking hotels, flights and rental cars across the world. With a slick interface, useful filters and an impressive range of options, the Kayak app is a must-download before your next holiday.

 Kayak windows phone app

BookMyTicket

BookMyTicket works as a gateway to several booking sites across India. In a click, the app will direct you to leading portals to book train tickets, flight tickets, bus tickets and taxis.

BookMyTicket Windows app 

Utilities

My Trips

This travel assistant app keeps track of your itinerary- flights, hotels, appointments etc and works even when offline. I especially like that it keeps track of previous trips to help with a quick trip down memory lane!

My Trips windows app

Here Maps

Here Maps is a navigation tool and more! The most useful feature is a “Collection” which is like a bookmarks folder to save places you want to visit or remember, such as “Barcelona”, “Singapore shopping” or “Chinese restaurants”. So you can save places before your trip and let the app guide you when you’re travelling.

Here Maps windows mobile app

Translator

Sometimes your little finger to locate a restroom doesn’t work. So let Translator do the talking for you (literally). This app will translate keyed-in text, speech and image-based text across multiple languages and give output in the form of audio and text. Super useful!

 Translator Microsoft Lumia app

Currency Converter

If, like me, you’re constantly converting dollars, euros, bahts, roubles or krona into rupees or vice versa, Currency Converter will save you a lot of trouble. The app tells you the latest exchange rates to make your shopping easier and quicker.

Currency Converter on Lumia 

For Your Memories

Photo Editor Master

Picture-perfect images are possible even without a fancy DSLR. Use this app to enhance your vacation pictures and share your travel story with the world! Do I see you pouting for a selfie already?

photo editor windows phone

All apps are available on the Windows store and can be downloaded on a Microsoft Lumia phone. Handset provided by brand for testing.