My “Travel Challenge” Day #7 Boards The Legendary Venice Simplon Orient Express Train! My Disastrous Budapest Arrival Video!

Who’s Ready To “Ride The Rails?”

Train travel has become my favorite mode of transportation, thanks to an “once in a lifetime” ride on the legendary Venice-Simplon Orient Express Train!

As part of my ten day #TravelChallenge, I am sharing pictures from that trip, including a funny video disaster!

Details On This “Travel Challenge!”

Here are details regarding this “travel challenge”: it’s all about visual images – so the challenge is to post a favorite travel picture for 10 days without explanation and nominate someone else to participate.

Well, “without explanation” wasn’t going to happen, especially with this trip to share:

I love traveling, and I love taking pictures like the one above: history rolling by from our suite on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express Train. Still the best trip of our lives…I loved the trip, which led us here:

“Taking The Waters” In Budapest!

As part of our journey through Europe by The Orient Express, we had two nights in Budapest, Hungary.

My wife Alex and I went to the legendary Gellert Spa on the “Buda” side of the Danube and “took the waters”..incredible…

We also hiked up to a Castle high above the Danube River – you can see “Buda” on the left, with “Pest” on the right side of the river…coming together to form a gorgeously city with quite a past…

It was a trip back in time and we loved it – you can see more of our trip to the spa with lots of fun information about this legendary city as well – just click here:

As I said, we took the Venice Simplon Orient Express train and it was as magical as you can imagine:

We boarded in Venice, and at one point they pull over to change out the engines on the train – and of course they let you get off to capture the moment!

They put a traditional engine on for this part of the trip, which ended up having a comical result.

You see, I thought I was very clever to film us chugging into Budapest…so I opened the window in our suite and stuck my iphone out…and here’s what happened:


Outside of my “smoking” incident, the train trip was incredible beyond words:

The Train has been refurbished to all of its polished glory, and there is a “black tie” dress code for dinner, but who wouldn’t want to celebrate that way?

If you want to see more details about the trip – and learn more about this iconic train, you can click on my story here:

Now, back to this #TravelChallenge: I was nominated for this fun challenge by Carol, whose website link is below. Carol shares terrific stories about exotic food and unique recipes, as well as important stories about our environment!

Of course, I keep breaking the rules because I have so much to share from this magical city of Budapest at night:

Unbelievable – the city lights up along the Danube and it’s incredible!

Click here if you want to see more of it!

Yesterday I shared some “rock faces” with one of my favorite shots:

“Skull Rock” is one of the most famous “faces” at Joshua Tree National park, but it’s not alone:

The park is filled with incredible images, thanks to thousands of years of nature painting and repainting the surface…click here to see more of this incredible park:

I began the #TravelChallenge with this photo:

500 feet high, no better way to see the world around you!

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Leave a comment and let me know your favorite travel adventures – oh, and I’ll leave you with some Hungarian Schnitzel and Spaetzle!

Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, nature, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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23 replies

  1. I love metro rail rides and this one is such a classic ride! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This trip looks amazing, John. The smoke incident was a bit unlucky, but it made for an entertaining video.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robbie, we laughed about it – they only use that classic engine going into Budapest – the rest of the time it’s an electric engine, so they make a big deal out of it…thanks for commenting and sharing!


  3. You have been to some incredible places. I’ve been to all fifty states now, but I haven’t done much international traveling. Lots of time to plan my post-COVID experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dream come true! I love how they changed to the old engine. Your video wasn’t bad…just a little smoke. 🙂


  5. Loved seeing your Orient Express photos & video – more please! And the delicious looking Spaetzle & Weiner Schnitzle looks so good! Did you wash it down with a Czech beer?


  6. I have to say Budapest was a wonderful surprise. We just loved it. Enjoyed your smokey video. Not a pleasant surprise I imagine. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was very jealous when I read this the first time, so it’s a great pick for the challenge. But I am old enough to have travelled on steam trains when they were the only trains, so would have known not to open the window in a tunnel. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What an amazing trip & you two have some beautiful photos of you both together. The train certainly does billow a heck of a lot of black smoke!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love train rides, this one looks amazing!


  10. My dream is a trip on the Orient Express but unlikely methinks…I think I am going to have to settle for a train trip here which is meant to be an experience…that Schnitzel and Spaetzle looks delicious 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol, we vow to do it again, this time from Istanbul…and I have an article about the greatest train trips in the world and want to do several, especially through Asia..we’ll see, nothing wrong with dreaming! Thanks for commenting and sharing!


      • They do a great one down to the site of the River Kwai which is supposed to be fabulous as the guy who runs the trips worked on the Orient Express for a number of years… Once this is over I hope to book a trip it comes highly recommended…



  1. Fighting Off Piranha! My #TravelChallenge Day #8 Heads To Cabo San Lucas For Killer Fish! Whales And Sea Lions Too! – johnrieber
  2. The Incredible Athens Parliament Video! The “Changing Of The Guard” Ceremony In Greece! – johnrieber

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