Arab World Institute
Aboard the Orient Express in Paris
There's just something about train travel. It conjures up images of romance, adventure and sexy encounters ala North by Northwest. Perhaps no real train captures the imagination more than the Orient Express, a luxury passenger train that operated from 1883 to 2009. The most famous route from Paris to Istanbul via Vienna went from 1883 to 1977 and attracted many famous and powerful passengers over the years like Czar Nicolas II, Agatha Christie (who famously wrote Murder on the Orient Express) and singer Josephine Baker. Now visitors to Paris can experience the train first hand. Three original train cars are currently on loan to the Arab World Institute as part of their new exhibit Once Upon a Time on the Orient Express or (Une Était Une Fois L'Orient Express). Visitors are able to snake their way through the cars which sit in the museum's large courtyard. Including a salon car, a sleeper car and a restaurant/bar car, the art deco interiors are sumptuous and plush and the curators have also brought in authentic items from the period to make the space come alive like splayed playing cards, smoking cigarettes, a clacking typewriter and various pieces of period clothing (supposedly belonging to famous passengers). A voyage on the Orient Express may no longer be possible but this is a window into the golden age of travel. The exhibit runs through August 31rst.
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