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Tag Archive for: trains

Station decoration

28 Nov 2008 / 0 Comments / in Journeys

Leaving Strasbourg I look up at the ceiling at the train station and see it is wooden and painted with a flower design, similar to the one in Aleppo. The old part of the station is covered over with a glass structure.  It’s a bit like a glass dish placed over a piece of aged […]

Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot et al

27 Nov 2008 / 1 Comment / in Journeys

My journey to Strasbourg will be on the Orient Express. Agatha Christie was a frequent visitor to Syria with her second husband, Max Mallowan.  He was an archaeologist and worked on some of the country’s most famous sites.  He is honoured in the National Museum in Damascus. Murder on the Orient Express was reputedly written […]

Ways of arriving and means of transport

27 Nov 2008 / 1 Comment / in Journeys

Travelling between Istanbul and Serbia I met a German guy who’d cycled out to Turkey and was heading back to Berlin by train. We agree flying to a city leaves you without a real sense of how that place fits into the country geographically and culturally. After passing through regions of landscape on the train […]

Portrait / Landscape

25 Nov 2008 / 0 Comments / in Journeys

Travelling by train you feel right in the landscape of a country, the routes tend to be less built over than road routes.   Riding through the snowy mountains of Bulgaria and Serbia with the thin firs coated white on one side just a few feet away is almost tactile.  It’s like you can feel […]

Snowy Serbia

25 Nov 2008 / 2 Comments / in Journeys

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First class

17 Nov 2008 / 0 Comments / in Journeys

It turns out I’m travelling in a first class cabin from Ankara to Adana overnight. The train’s very plastic and modern, a new Pullman model. I sense this train guard won’t be offering me beer and cigarettes nor chucking me under the chin and swapping salary details, like his counterpart Vali on the Bucharest to […]


17 Nov 2008 / 0 Comments / in Journeys

It’s a special pleasure to wake up and not know quite what you will see when you draw up the blind of the carriage window As we pass through farms of orange and lemon trees near Yenice the morning air smells of marmalade. Next stop Adana and then a bus into Syria.

Firm borders

15 Nov 2008 / 0 Comments / in Journeys

Istanbul’s the first stop off on this trip I’ve been to before.  It’s a relief to arrive here, not just because it’s familiar but the journey through Romania and Bulgaria has been long. I’m woken at four am by border guards.  They slam open the door of every single compartment and shine torches around the […]