From 1889 to 1978, the Orient Express was the most efficient and luxurious way to get from western Europe to the Middle
The train traveled through several different cultures and opposing sides in European alliances along the way, lending each trip a sense of adventure, espionage, and intrigue.
The journey began in Paris and traveled through major cities in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria before ending at its final destination, Constantinople (now Istanbul), Turkey.
Its chef de train, who spoke six languages fluently, would handle the passports and paperwork at each border crossing, leaving passengers undisturbed.
In 1982, a truncated version of the Orient Express began operating again to placate tourists who wanted to experience the famous line.
One thing missing on the new train: King Boris of Bulgaria, who, as absolute monarch, often insisted that he be allowed to drive the famous train through his realm.
Luckily, he was experienced at it and his stops and starts were as smooth as a professional’s.