Why do trains have such a fascination? After reading From Russia with Love I knew that one day I would travel by train through Eastern Europe, if not along the same line as Mr Bond, but some where in Eastern Europe.
Murder on the Orient Express – could I afford to travel with Agatha Christie as she keeps us on the straight and narrow, or should I just buy the DVD ?
Perhaps it should be, Stamboul Train, which runs from Ostend to Istanbul with Graham Green at the controls.
It is not just trains that held my attention, via books, but also the names of the cities through which we pass.
Funeral in Berlin by Len Deighton
I wonder if the main character would recognise Berlin’s mainline station today?
If we move on from trains to cities we must use railway stations, which bring back memories of railway stations in films –
Brief Encounter had a number of station scenes.
Remember Rick in the rain on the railway station in Paris as the German entered the city?
How about Burt Lancaster in ‘The Train’, trying to save French paintings in 1944, and the number of stations that his train passed through in an effort to fool the Germans?
For me black & white has more ‘depth’ to the scene.
As our train ran from Prague to Budapest I couldn’t help but photograph ‘romantic’ stations.
Doesn’t this station reek of spies and all things connected with the 1950’s?
Leaving Bratislava – you can just see the front of our train.
Nove Zamky – can you hear the Russian tanks?
Unknown, does anybody recognise this station ?
A four night stay in Budapest and we were off again,
Our train arriving to take us to Vienna.
Vienna, the home of Graham Green’s, The Third Man, which is another book to bring back a reason to travel by train in Eastern Europe.
Gyor our first stop
Each of the stations mentioned have histories that would fill a library – battles fought, ruled by the armies of Sweden, France, Turkey, Mongols, Russians, Austrians, Germans to name a few. Coming from a country that has not suffered invaders for over a thousand years it is hard to comprehend.
Approaching Vienna as we passed large marshaling yards.
Four nights in Vienna and we are off again to Frankfurt.
Seven hours, but in comfort.
Facing forward for the top one and facing backwards for the other.
Inside we had a four individual chairs and a table – plenty of room for four adults. We could hear what was going on, but we were still private. Not that there was a lot of noise, just quiet chatter.
A town that has a history that will take generations to forget
Adolf Hitler spent his youth here before moving on to Vienna – he considered Linz to be his home town.
Adolf Eichmann also spent his youth here.
On the other side of the coin many victims of Nazism have been remembered by Linz citizen in the naming of various streets. Simon Wiesenthal founded his Jewish document centre in Linz.
Our final station, before Frankfurt, was Nurnberg. I couldn’t help taking pictures of this city’s railways station. Growing up in the aftermath of WW2, with tales of the trials and executions of war criminals in this city, one felt as if we all knew of the city, even though none of us had visited the city.
The accused at the trials.
Frankfurt station, which brings to mind Elvis