Historian and Archetypal Englishman Julian Davidson travels from the frozen wastes of Norway to the sunny shores of the Italian Adriatic coast, sampling the delights of some of the most dramatic and fascinating railway journeys in Europe.
In Norway he explores the capital Oslo before boarding the super-fast intercity express train towards Bergen. This takes him high into the ice fields, crossing the highest point of any European railway. He takes a detour onto on one of the most spectacular pieces of track anywhere in the world called the Flamsbana, then continues on to Bergen where he visits the home of composer Edvard Grieg.
Vienna is Julian’s next port of call where he tours the world famous Ringstrasse and Shonbrunne Palace, discovering the facts behind the staggering wealth and achievements of Emperor Franz Joseph’s Austro-Hungarian Empire. Hopping onto one of Austria’s advanced Railjet passenger trains he is whisked high into the Alps and the breath taking mountain line known as the Semmering pass. After a brief stop he continues on to the end of the line in the beautiful Italian coastal town of Trieste.
Glasgow is the second city of Scotland and the start of Julian’s journey north into the Western Highlands and four hundred years back in time to learn of feuding Kings and fractious Clans. He visits the ancient town of Fort William where he climbs aboard ‘The Jacobite’, a lovely old steam train which takes him on a line recognisable for being the ‘Hogwarts Express’ in the Harry Potter movies. He ends in the port of Malaig, hopping off point for the Western Isles.
Budapest is a never to forget cultural mix for Julian, including visits to the world famous Opera House, a synagogue and a Turkish bath. Julian’s train takes him out of Hungary’s capital, north through Slovakia and into the Polish city of Krakow. Pausing to learn more about the horrific history of the Jewish population there he then travels on to Warsaw where that tragic episode in history concludes.