Guest Author - Jim Fortune
Going to the city of Prague has always been one of the places where I would like to go, but have not been there yet. The pictures I have seen make Prague look like the epitome of natural beauty, richness of culture and diversity. Now couple it with a rail journey so luxurious and comfortable as the luxury train rides offered by the Orient Express. Could anything be better than this trip?
This trip does not really qualify as Budget Travel. However, I think every once in a while you need a trip like this to reward you for saving lots of money on those many little trips you have been taking. Think of this trip as a cruise on rails.
The Orient Express offers many trips with various destinations. Some are short two day trips and others last 5 days or more. On this particular trip, you'll need to get to Venice first. You can choose a date in 2010 or in 2011 to take the trip, so you have plenty of planning time.
I would suggest getting to Venice a few days ahead of your departure. Then you can get over the jet lag, if any, and see a few of the sights in Venice. Enjoy a two day journey around the city and experience the uniquely fascinating architectural beauty.
The rail portion of your trip will take a journey of four nights and five days. You'll get on board the Simplon-Orient-Express in Venice at Venice Santa Lucia station. You'll be leaving in the afternoon.
While you are on board, you will have your own personal steward. Why not get settled into your comfortable cabin and take your time dressing for dinner. You can stop by the Bar Car and get a drink, before walking to one of the beautifully restored restaurant cars. And as the train passes across the Venetian Lagoon and sets forth to Northern Italy, you will enjoy a formal dinner especially created by a skilled chef who made a delectable gourmet menu for all the passengers.
Can I suggest that you take time to meet the people you are travelling with? This has always been a real treat for me to meet my co-travellers (if there is such a word). We have always met many interesting people that have made the trip much more enjoyable, than if we had stuck to ourselves.
After dinner, why not head back to the Bar Car for a nightcap and when you are ready to go to sleep, you can make your way to your cabin which has now been transformed into a cozy bedroom.
In the morning, breakfast will be served in your cabin. Be sure to try the coffee. I hear it is excellent! Spend the morning relaxing in the comfort of your cabin, gazing at the beautiful passing scenery as the train heads towards Prague. Later, enjoy a three-course lunch in one of the magnificent restaurant cars. The train pulls in to Prague’s Smichov station in the afternoon.
Here is where you will transfer to a hotel for two nights. There are many afternoon sightseeing trips you can take that assemble around the station or leave from your hotel lobby.
After two days in Prague, you'll head back to the train. You'll be shown to your private cabin and get dressed for dinner. Why not plan on wearing something special, since this will be your last night onboard? You'll enjoy a leisurely four-course dinner, prepared on board by a skilled French chef. Enjoy a brandy or liqueur with the people you have met on the tip before going back to your cabin for the night.
You can enjoy breakfast in your cabin as you pull into the station in Paris. Sounds like fun doesn't it? All Aboard!!
Despite the economy I hope you are travelling and enjoying yourself. Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?
Jim Fortune - the Bella Budget Travel Guy