Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Romance aboard the Orient Express

Picture the Orient Express in its heyday. Forget the cramped couchette car, the noisy German students partying to all hours, or the disapproving matron forced to witness clandestine berth-hopping between twenty-year-olds.

Picture instead a private wood-panelled compartment with an opulent bed piled high with down comforters and swathed beneath in sheer silk, paintings harking back to Europe's splendour before the wars — think Paris, Budapest, Prague, Istanbul — plush Turkey carpets to tempt a sultan, and toiletries the envy of an Italian prima donna. Imagine champagne, strawberries and chocolate. La Perla lingerie and nothing but nature's own bounty for him. Later there is a late-night dinner with linen, crystal, silver and a discreet French chef. Munich flies by, Vienna, until finally we reach Budapest, the land of our youth and a city rich with culture, history and nuance.

Imagine a train ride the prelude to the pleasures of a weekend spent abroad.

(The truth is the only locomotive we hitched a ride on this weekend was a Via Rail train bound for Montreal. I literally had to flag down the conductor as we were late and the train seconds from pulling away. Luckily he took pity on a luggage-laden mother and her panicked daughter and lowered the steps for our private embarkation.)

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4 Comments:

Blogger India said...

When I was a copywriter I wrote a brochure for a travel company about the Orient Express. I have a horrible sinking feeling, reading this Eva, that it was utterly rubbish. You do it so much better...

10:42 am  
Blogger Eva said...

Sadly, the only accurate bit is the first paragraph, at least from my experience. And racing for the Canadian trainline, of course. It was so close!

12:27 pm  
Blogger Stacy Dawn said...

LOL...you guys are hillarious. I wish my imaginary life was as good as yours.

4:28 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

I'm sure if you gave a big enough sneeze from your outsized nose, Eva, you could put Imogen's firey knickers out in one go.

7:37 pm  

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