The Orient Express

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.

An engine set up outside the museum which you can see in the background.

The train had hot and cold running water, heating and gas lights.

A poster-behind glass, thus the reflection-of the famous movie.

An old map showing the routes. As you can see, once you reached Istanbul, you crossed the water by ferry (you see this in the movie) and then could continue on to such places as Egypt and Ankara.

Tables were set up with antique items from days gone by.

Cigarettes of course. Look at that low price.

Decorative touches done by Lalique, the famous French glass designer.

The service area, seen in the movie, where tea and coffee were prepared. There were little video screens showing scenes from the movie.

I took this just because I liked the lighting behind.

Some more of the beautiful, elegant decorations.

I saw the exhibit late on Friday night and saw this on the way home.

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!

3 thoughts to “The Orient Express”

  1. I’m soooo excited for you! What a great birthday gift….can’t wait to hear all about it. The closest I’ve ever been was visiting the hotel room in Istanbul where Agatha Christie wrote “Murder on the Orient Express.” (That was pretty cool though.). Someday, I hope to be a passenger. Savor every minute. Oh – and Happy Birthday! 🙂

  2. When I was in Istanbul last year, Pinar, a blog reader, took me to the hotel where the passengers on The Orient Express ended up. And where Agatha Christie wrote the book 🙂

  3. Wow no sooner you’re told “you need a little more excitement” in your life, you’ve got it!! LOL. Beautiful and fun – I follow your blog and think of you as, “The Accidental Adventuress” – Have a great time!

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