Tag: Orient-Express

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The UK's Orient-Express Train is Harry Potter's Hogwarts Express for a Limited Time

July 30, 2013 at 1:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios Orlando may be working on building a full-scale Hogwarts Express train, but little do they know one already exists.

Over in the UK, the famously opulent Orient-Express "Northern Belle" train attempts to recreate the Hogwarts Express experience on special kid-friendly departures that include more than just a choo-choo ride; the train actually transports its passengers to and from Hogwarts or, well, the Harry Potter Studio Tour experience outside London, where the movies were filmed.

Curious to see what exactly goes down in the Studio Tour? What a coincidence! We recently visited it ourselves.

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Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express Train from Machu Picchu: Part 2

October 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

Talk about bucket list locations, Machu Picchu is up there (literally). The sacred Inca city high in the Andes mountains of Peru isn't an easy place to visit, but thousands head there every day for a glimpse at the archaeological site. Having just returned ourselves, all this week we'll give you the low-down on how to get to this high place.

The Jaunted Goes to Machu Picchu Series:

1. Flying into Cusco
2. Sorting out documents
3. Riding the Vistadome train
4. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 1 - the train)
5. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 2 - the dining & extras)
6. MACHU PICCHU

So you've been hiking Incan ruins all day, likely in the sun, and you've been fed finger sandwiches and teacakes until your stomach bulged...so the last thing you'd want to do is eat again, right? Wrong. The grueling daytrip of Cusco to Machu Picchu and back made us ravenous like no other and so, when it came time for a four-course meal and drinks onboard the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express train, "si" was the answer to every question asked by our waiter.

Si, keep the agua flowing (con gas, yummy).

Si, I'm having the steak.

Si, there's no way I'm skipping dessert.

Si si si after-dinner drinks in the bar car.

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Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express Train from Machu Picchu: Part 1

October 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Talk about bucket list locations, Machu Picchu is up there (literally). The sacred Inca city high in the Andes mountains of Peru isn't an easy place to visit, but thousands head there every day for a glimpse at the archaeological site. Having just returned ourselves, all this week we'll give you the low-down on how to get to this high place.

The Jaunted Goes to Machu Picchu Series:

1. Flying into Cusco
2. Sorting out documents
3. Riding the Vistadome train
4. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 1 - the train)
5. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 2 - the dining & extras)
6. MACHU PICCHU

The train is blue. Unlike its European cousins, the cars are not painted with "Orient-Express" down the sides, but "Hiram Bingham" in gold lettering.

What would Hiram himself, explorer/Yale professor/politician, think of this train that makes traversing such forbidding terrain look so easy? Hiram Bingham discovered the site of Machu Picchu in 1911 and worked to uncover and preserve it for study and, yes, tourism. Even the switchback road up to the ruins from the town of Aguas Calientes and the Urubamba River is named the Hiram Bingham Highway (though it's hardly a 'highway').

But before we digress on some History Channel-ish tangents, back to the train! A one-way ticket averages $329 per person, in high contrast to the Vistadome which runs $76 and the Expedition at $62. There are a few dining cars and one bar car with a lounge and rear observation area, complete with an open-air platform. The locomotive is also blue, though a lighter shade that's the signature of its operator: PeruRail.

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