A train journey you will never forget.
Two weeks ago I received an invitation from Belmond to travel on the ‘Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’, world famous by the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, a legendary fictional character in the many books of Agatha Christie. A true success story. More than three billion copies were sold and more than 200 film adaptations were made.
The greatest excitement on the platform. It is unique that the train leaves in Amsterdam and ends in the beautiful Venice . One of the most beautiful cities on earth where one still feels the power of the doge and greatness in adventure of Marco Polo, who managed to travel to Asia during the Mongol rulers and brought a lot of information to the West. As well as the spaghetti.
a world in itself
Once aboard the train, you imagine yourself in a world from a hundred years ago. It is extremely luxurious, opulent and wonderful to be in this atmosphere. You can see Lauren Bacall walk in at the side of Sean Connery or John Gielgud as in the 1974 Hollywood classic Murder on the Orient Express. A film with a great cast including Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Perkins and Ingrid Bergman… The list goes on. It is a world in itself where you are spoiled with good food, delicious wines and of course the necessary champagnes. In nice company.
A total of thirty-seven hours is spent in this dream world, in the atmosphere of Hollywood and Hercule Poirot.
While the Swiss Alps and, among other things, passing the beautiful Lake Como while consuming a delicious glass of Taittinger, I stay in a world of glamour.
It’s not just the stars of the past who are regular travelers. Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction star Mr. John Travolta is an annual returning guest as well as Leonardo di Caprio. Well, the red carpet never stops.
Europe in style
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the ideal way to experience Europe in style. To end up in Venice is a dream, especially now, because tourism is not yet at full speed. Upon arrival in the medieval city, we take a 25-minute water taxi to Cipriani, a Belmond Hotel , located just opposite the old town on the island of Giudecca. It is wonderful to be there. There is peace, no crowds of tourists, only temperamental Venetians who enjoy espresso and alcohol with a lot of noise. We have lunch in Osteria alle Testiere, where the menu is composed in the morning on the Rialta market depending on the supply of fresh fish.
Negroni, espresso and grappa
Aperitifs en route at the legendary Caffé Chioggia. The negroni tastes more than delicious. In the Osteria mainly Italian families who enjoy the great dishes. It’s a real feast that ends with espresso and grappa.
Of course I will also end my trip in style. With our highly valued partner KLM, I fly home in comfort while enjoying a glass of champagne in Business Class, and set foot safely back on home soil within two hours.
Of course I can recommend it to everyone. Especially now that Venice is still fairly quiet. That was also one of the reasons it was my first time to travel there, but certainly not the last time.