I think everyone has heard of the Orient Express, the famous train that used to run between London and Istanbul with links to points beyond. It was made even more famous by the book and then movie (several of them) by Agatha Christie called Murder on the Orient Express. There is an exhibit of the Orient Express at the l’Institut du Monde Arabe and they have actually somehow (I would love to see how) brought in four cars from the original Orient Express and set them up outside the museum for visitors to look at, inside and out. Two of the cars are even the ones used in the movie, the version with Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot. As I read “Organized by the World Arab Institute and the French national rail company SNCF, the exhibition highlights the luxury that travelers experienced on board this icon of transport.” Can it be matched for glamor or romance? Not to me. Originally a twice-weekly trip between Paris and Istanbul via Strasbourg, Vienna, Budapest and Bucharest, passengers made the last part of their journey to Istanbul by ferry. Now the trip is only between London and Venice.
As per my wine glass dregs “reading,” I suppose I really did need a little bit more excitement in my life because, as the fates would have it, I find myself here in Venice of all places – soon to board the Orient Express!