Michael Portillo embarks on six memorable railway journeys across Europe armed only with his 1913 Bradshaw s Guide and sporting his trademark colourful jackets!
On his travels, Michael visits towns and villages along the way exploring the sights and sampling local traditions while telling the story of what happened in continental Europe in 1913, when everything changed as the world went to war.
TRANSYLVANIA TO THE BLACK SEA
Michael travels to Romania, where he encounters bloodsucking vampires and wild brown bears before visiting a fairytale castle with mod cons, striking oil in the world s oldest refinery and loading cargo from a 100-foot crane.
ZERMATT TO GENEVA
Travelling from the Swiss Alps to the shores of Lake Geneva, Michael is caught up in a war zone with the Red Cross and rescued from an avalanche by a St Bernard puppy; having taken to the skies to celebrate the epic achievement of a Swiss aviation hero, he tries his hand at watchmaking.
TANGIER TO MARRAKECH
Michael leaves Europe behind to take in the sights, smells and tastes of north Africa, from the Mediterranean port of Tangier to the city of Marrakech, ending his journey with a traditional Berber breakfast in the foothills of the Atlas mountains.
GENOA TO THE BRENNER PASS
Back in Europe, Michael journeys from the Italian Riviera to the Austrian Alps; along the way he hears how an Edwardian Briton brought 'the beautiful game' to Genoa and learns to whip up a mean pesto Genovese before making his way to the Po Valley and on to the spectacular Brenner Pass.
RIGA TO TAMPERE
Michael journeys from the icy Baltic Sea to the tranquillity of a Finnish lake. Journeying from Riga to Tampere, the Manchester of Finland, he encounters medieval knights, hears stories of national struggles for independence, and enjoys a soak in a hot tub by the light of the midnight sun.
ROTTERDAM TO UTRECHT
Heading for the Netherlands, Michael he roots around the world's largest flower auction, operates a crane in Europe's largest container port, and investigates Europe's most famous red-light district!
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