One of the definate items on my bucket list is a trip on the Venice Simplon Orient Epress, from Paris to Venice. How incredibly wonderful and chic that would be.
The 'Orient Express' Story
A landmark moment in railway history, October 1883 saw the launch of the original Orient Express. Leaving from Paris, it steamed through the Alps, Budapest and Bucharest to Constantinople.
Packed with grandees and unheard of luxuries such as soap by the washbasins, reports swiftly came back of its exquisite food, excellent wine and impeccable service.
This legendary train continued to carry kings, celebrities and shady characters between great European cities up until its 1920s heyday. Many of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express's current carriages date from this era. After World War II other forms of transport nudged it into decline. Its last service as a regular passenger train was in May 1977.
The fabled luxury train was however saved by entrepreneur and rail enthusiast, James B. Sherwood. In 1977 he bought two of the train's carriages at a Sotheby's auction in Monte Carlo.
The next few years were spent locating, purchasing and restoring some 35 vintage carriages. In May 1982 the legend was reborn when the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express made its maiden run from London to Venice.
Today, the gleaming carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express luxury train continue to transport passengers across Europe in exquisite surroundings on one of the most celebrated and romantic journeys in the world.