Already 6 years ago I was on a business trip in Berlin.
I had a customer meeting in the morning and a plan to visit afterwards at least the 10 most known sights before travelling back by car the 400 km to my home office.
Unfortunately I did not know much about the city. So I went to the city center, parked the car for a lot of money and tried to start. As travelling home would take some time I decided to spent – including a light meal and a coffee break – not more than 3 hours for my sightseeing visit.
First I tried to use the map on my mobile, but it did not really give my a good overview of a tour or sights and I was still around the Brandenburg gate with no real information about it or the places nearby.
I did not want to buy an expensive book guide or search for a tourist office to get a bunch of maps or brochures, so I checked the app store and loaded one of the many first listed Berlin tourist apps in the hope to have picked the right one. The app gave my recommendations about shops, cafes, museums, sights, restaurants, bars, events, night live, special places to visit, etc.
All that stuff I did not need !
It gave me no idea about a 3 hours tour and where to go from now and how to get back in time again…
I clicked on the Brandenburg gate sight description and got a full page of information text. However I could not read it, as my display did not show the text in bright sunlight.
Having messed around with all that nearly 1 hour I was still at the Brandenburg gate!
I did not give up. In this case it had to be a paper guide that I bought in the next tourist shop. This was better now. I had 50 pages of do´s and dont´s, 100 pages of really good background information about Berlin`s history and social quarters to visit, recommendation of bars, restaurants, events, nightlife, shops, banks, and…at hand ! Great. And all sights were described in detail in alphabetic order (!). This helped me a lot in my situation. Time moved on.
Additionally I found 10 tour proposals in different quarters of the city. Luckily from Brandenburg gate was one, too. I still had 2 hours to spend. The Brandenburg gate tour proposal named a time spend of around 4,5 hours for the complete tour.
I decided to start with it and break after 1,5 hours to go back to my start point. I read about the Brandenburg gate, the Pariser place, hotel Adlon. Always switching back from my tour plan to the alphabetic sight description. Fortunately I was alone – my wife not with me. She would have said: “Close your book, you are not alone, lets go shopping. I don`t want read books now. I want to see something”.
I followed the map to my next location proposal and – suddenly was lost. No problem. I took my smartphone, found my position, checked it with the paper map what took some time and went on.
After 2,5 hours I had visited 4 sights and one closed church sight. The church would open up in one hour. Too late for me.
Frustrated I went back.
The next day back in my home office was a Saturday and it poured down on end. So it was the perfect time to read my paper guide about Berlin. Afterward I was full with information what I could have seen… and prepared to answer any questions.
But if anybody would ask me, I could tell him everything about my beautiful tour and advice about sights I knew without having seen them really – because I only read about it. But who knows this and who cares…
A week later I had the idea about an app how to overcome all this !