We celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary by treating ourselves to a trip on this world-famous train, travelling from London to Venice. We were so busy on the train, getting dressed for lunch dinner and tea, undressing after lunch dinner and tea and, of course, enjoying lunch dinner and tea, when we weren't straightening bow-ties, adjusting jewelry, and avoiding daggers in our backs, that we scarcely had time to look out of the window at the views which, in Switzerland in particular were splendid.

We stay over in a charming cottage near Siena, tour some major cities of the North  and round off our stay with a performance of Aïda in the Arena in Verona

British Pullman takes you from Victoria to Folkestone. Our particular carriage had once been the favourite of the Queen Mother.
The food was exquisite, served with punctilious attention to detail, the waiters dressed like servants to royalty.
This was the best meal we've ever had on British Rail! Just Desserts.
In Calais, we picked up the train proper, the Venice-Simplon Orient Express and trundled on to Paris [Orient Express, in that respect, is a little bit of a misnomer]
Evening meal we had to work up an appetite for, after our sumptuous lunch, but a little stroll up and down and the aromas from the kitchen soon whetted our appetites again
Here we are, before tucking into a gorgeous meal, as the countryside and later, Paris, floated by ....
Our carriage is a masterpiece of design. While we were eating the previous evening, it was converted into a sleeping car. Washing facilities are neatly tucked away from view.
The compartments are quickly transformed from daytime couches to double bunk beds
Next morning we woke up to a sumptuous breakfast consisting of more buns, cakes and croissants than I care to remember
A corridor view of this magnificent 100 year old restored train carriage.
When the maître d'hôtel asked when we wanted lunch, we had to do some serious calculations. Too early, and we hadn't had time to digest breakfast, too late and it would spoil afternoon tea and cakes .......
The Piano Bar
Venezia "La Serenissima" and the Basilica San Marco. We stay over in Venice for a couple of nights.
The Palazzo Ducale is a magnificent structure reflecting the former power and glory of the Venetian Republic
The Ponte Rialto, the defining icon of the city, spanning the Gran Canale
San Gimignano. Walled towns abound in Tuscany and whereas elsewhere in Europe rather exaggerated claims are made about the existence of such walls, in nearly all cases here they exist in entirety.
San Gimignano is marked by its towers, not in themselves useful structures but mostly a mark of power and wealth
Lucca The Romanesque church "San Michele"
Siena a World Heritage Site
Siena's Palazzo Pubblico and Piazza del Campo, scene of the twice yearly "Palio" horse race
Siena The Duomo and its magnificent Renaissance Nave
Bologna, its Due Torri, former symbols of power and security
Firenze Ponte Vecchio spanning the Arno River
Verona's Arena is a former Roman Amphitheatre
An impressive performance of Verdi’s Aïda in the Arena, much used for grand opera in the summer evenings.
The "Adige" river rises in the province to the north of the city, the Alto-Adige.
Verona has unforgettable associations with the plays of Shakespeare