5 Interesting Facts about the Orient Express

5 Interesting Facts about the Orient Express

While today, airplanes are commonly used for long-distance travel, in the second half of the nineteenth century, people traveled by either horse power, boats, or trains.

However, at that time, trains did not offer the level of comfort that we are accustomed to today, except for a few notable exceptions.

One of them was the Orient Express.

1. Only for the elite

During its heyday, it was considered good manners to ride the Orient Express at least once. Tickets were understandably not the cheapest, so ordinary people did not travel this way, but mainly bankers, politicians, and the celebrities of the entertainment world.

Even by today's standards, the train was equipped with unparalleled luxury. The interior furnishings were taken to an absurd level of perfection. Passengers were meant to feel pampered. Therefore, only silverware was used for dining, which was not even common in better families.

The famous Mata Hari, a courtesan, oriental dancer, and spy, who eventually paid a high price for her espionage activities, even rode the train on more than one occasion.

2. Murder on the Orient Express is fiction

Many people remember the Orient Express mainly thanks to the excellent detective novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express. For decades, a number of readers have believed that the book was at least partially inspired by real events.

It is true that Agatha Christie did ride the train at least once, but during her journey, no such crime occurred. In fact, nothing similar ever happened. The whole story is pure fiction from the first to the last letter.

3. Bomb attack

A bomb attack allegedly took place on the Orient Express, after which the then-famous actress and singer, Josephine Baker, took on the role of a nurse.

It is true that a similar incident did occur, but at a different time and with different people involved. Josephine was certainly not on board the train during the explosion and she definitely did not treat the wounded.

4. Appropriate attire

The Orient Express has always been considered something exceptional, and the dress code had to correspond to that. This still applies today. It was and is not possible to board the train wearing only shorts. Men must wear pants, and women must wear longer skirts.

For dinner, it has always been recommended to ideally wear a tailcoat or at least a suitable suit with a bow tie or necktie. Coming to the table in casual attire is still considered the height of bad taste.

5. Custom cuisine

Speaking of food, it's no surprise that the Orient Express has always offered excellent cuisine. More than one Michelin-starred chef has worked in its kitchen. Fresh ingredients were, of course, mainly used.

If someone had a special request, either due to their refined taste buds or the need to follow a medical diet, they were almost always accommodated.

The most famous train of all time

The Orient Express is undoubtedly the most famous train of all time.

It has earned its popularity not only thanks to its amazing luxury, but also thanks to many historical figures from the fields of arts, politics, and science.