A luxury train runs from Budapest to Tehran reminding passengers of the days of the Orient Express. Elly Park reports.
A luxury train connecting Hungary and Iran leaves its station in Budapest for the first time. The first leg of the two-week, 7,000 kilometer ride takes its 70 passengers from the Hungarian capital to Istanbul, following the tracks of the famed Orient Express, which carried Europe's wealthy in the early 20th Century. Similarly, there is no coach or economy class seating on this train as the trip costs each traveler at least 9,000 British pounds, or over 14,000 US dollars. Tim Litter represents tour operator Golden Eagle. SOUNDBITE: Tour Operator Of Golden Eagle, Tim Littler, saying (English) "We happen to be coinciding with a huge investment in tourist infrastructure in Iran. It was only announced yesterday that they are starting to invest heavily into tourism so probably it's exactly the right time to be starting to go." Litter's sentiment was echoed by Dianne Gjergja, who flew in from Australia. SOUNDBITE: Australian Passenger, Dianne Gjergja, saying (English) "I think Iran is something new and exotic, yes, it's really good." The two-week trip will take Gjergja and other passengers across the Balkans, along the Bosphorus and through Kurdistan.