Goodbye Lhasa

Tibet was one of the most important stops on our trip. Not least because it is difficult to gain access to the autonomous region, and journalists are banned, but because it presented a number of ethical and moral quandaries. However, since the Dalai Lama himself has encouraged foreigners to visit and report back their own experiences, it felt like the right thing to do.

Here is a gallery that my photographer Marc Sethi put together for Raconteur magazine showing a slice of daily life in the capital, Lhasa.

Click here.

The Mandovi Express: Bombay to Goa

Licking the salty oil from my fingers, I considered buying another plate of hot, golden vadas (fritters) when a vendor pushed through the door calling “chicken lollipop, chicken lollipop”. Whipping out a roll of 10-rupee notes, I salivated as he produced four tiny chicken legs wrapped in foil. I was barely three hours into the 11-hour journey and I’d already wolfed down idlis and coconut chutney, deep-fried baby corn, crisp pakoras and at least four cups of treacle-sweet tea.

The Mandovi Express from Mumbai CST to Madgaon in Goa is one of Indian Railways’ most beloved trains. Winding down the Konkan coast, it passes through 92 tunnels and crosses 2,000 bridges including the Panval Nadi viaduct, the highest in India. This is one of the only stretches of India’s 40,400 miles of track that the British dared not construct, leaving it to Indian engineers to bore through the Western Ghats, succumbing to flash floods and landslides in an attempt to extend the line through some of the most treacherous, but beautiful, scenery in India.

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Flanked by jungles of palm and silver sheets of water cascading down cliffs, passenger trains first ran in 1998 and it soon became a favourite among India’s rail enthusiasts – not least for its pantry car. Last year a terrifying rumour ran riot that Indian Railways was going to do away with pantry cars and begin selling fast food. It would have been a travesty for most travellers who look forward to the chaiwallahs, regional varieties of hot snacks, biryani, and ice cream. Fortunately it turned out to be false and it was a relief to stroll through the car and watch Ahuja Caterers’ chefs rolling dough for fresh chapatis, chopping chunks of fiery papaya and tossing cauliflower in karahis.

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Six years ago I had fallen in love with this train. Travelling at no more than a jogging pace, the train has doors that are always open, allowing passengers to lean out. It was here that I used to read books, enjoying the sunshine on my arms, away from the chill of the air-conditioned carriages. Now, as I perched on the top step, the warm wind tickling my cheeks, the smell of recently burnt fields sweeping through the carriage, I felt a surge of nostalgia and a sense of home. I watched as bullocks swished their tails by rivers, little white birds perched on their backs. Children played cricket with planks and tennis balls, pausing only to wave as the train rattled past, and the sun skimmed the tops of the palms. At that moment I realised there was a magic and charm in travelling on Indian trains that no other country could match.

If travelling on more than one train in India, it makes sense to buy an IndRail pass from Shankar Dandapani, the UK Indian Railways agent (info@indiarail.co.uk).

From Shanghai to the Roof of the World

Enriched oxygen was supposed to smell and taste sweet. But the stream of air hissing out of the gold nozzle by my head had dank undertones of cigarettes that induced a wave of nausea. Reaching up to 5,200 metres above sea level, train compartments on the Qinghai railway are fitted with oxygen jets to alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness, along with several warning signs that do little to deter stubborn Chinese passengers who hide in the loos and smoke.

Pulling on my thermals, I readjusted the surgeon’s mask around my mouth and nose and sulked quietly, my asthmatic lungs withering in despair. After a month on Chinese trains I’d become accustomed to the spitting, hacking and crunch of empty sunflower seeds beneath my feet, but the constant flouting of no-smoking rules had turned me into Miss Marple, and had me and my nostrils twitching our way up the train, sniffing at compartment doors to admonish the culprits.

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Now resigned to the situation, I pulled down a seat in the corridor and leant against the window watching the soft, sugar-dusted brown mountains slope in the foreground. Tumbles of white cloud rolled around a sky so blue it made my eyes shrink from the glare, and rough-looking yaks nibbled at the yellow dryness of the plateau. Silver lakes like spills of liquid mercury were darkened by shadows of cloud and every hour or so the odd nomadic yurt appeared fringed with multi-coloured prayer flags. As the train climbed towards Lhasa we swept closer to the shimmering blue ice and snow of the Kunlun mountains and I soon forgot about the headaches and shortness of breath. I had seen nothing like this in my life and knew I never would again.

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Opened in 2006, the Qinghai railway from Xining to Lhasa is a feat of engineering excellence, holding the record for the world’s highest track and the highest station at Tanggula. Passing through an earthquake zone, the train travels on more than 300 miles of track built on permafrost that can melt at the slightest increase in temperature – a problem which engineers combatted by circulating liquid nitrogen below the rail bed in an attempt to keep it frozen year-round.

But complications surrounding the railway are not just limited to practicalities. The birth of the railway was considered an ecological threat to the region and also a cultural one as it opened up another route for the already huge influx of ethnic Han Chinese flooding Lhasa and displacing the Tibetan people. Even today, it’s unusual to see Tibetans on board, almost all of whom are forbidden by the Chinese government from travelling in and out of Tibet.

However, I had made my peace with my choice to travel to Tibet. I had travelled to North Korea a month earlier and had had no regrets, witnessing the country first-hand instead of reading reports and forming opinions, and I wanted to do the same in Tibet. As the train approached Lhasa, red Chinese flags poked up from every house and I took a deep breath before setting foot onto the roof of the world.

 

On the Rupert Rocket in Canada

“Ladies and gentlemen we’ve been informed there are moose coming up on the south side…”

Popping up like a gang of meerkats in fleeces, passengers craned necks towards the window with cameras in hand and false hope in their hearts. For the third time that day the alleged wildlife had scarpered so I slumped back in my seat. I’d long since given up on spotting bears and was content to gaze at the army of Douglas fir descending the mountainside – and maybe spy a skunk or two. For a brief moment I was filled with a sudden and sociopathic urge to slap the glass and scream “BEAR!” just for the fun of riling up my companions. Alas Gill and Tracy, a double-act in navy and neckerchiefs, began serving coffee and tea and I was forced to abandon the plan, sit back, and behave myself.

Two days earlier in Vancouver I had boarded The Canadian, a train so beloved it’s even on the Canadian $10 note. Resembling a Dualit toaster from the 1950s, the silver juggernaut of a train rolled off at dusk, on a cross-country mission to Toronto, but pulled into Jasper after breakfast the next morning where I had hopped off to take a round-trip detour on the Skeena.

The Skeena train from Jasper to Prince Rupert, also known fondly as “The Rupert Rocket”, or the rather dull official name “Train 5”, goes where no one else really goes. Way up north and wiggling west a little bit, the train cuts through British Columbia, terminating at the port town of Prince Rupert just 40 miles south of the Alaskan border where there is nothing to do but fish, hike and eat crab on Cow Bay Road. Canadians don’t take trains. They fly or drive their monster trucks from one province to the next, so taking the Skeena is the perfect way to go off-piste and travel with local residents and First Nations people, who, if not hitchhiking or waiting four days for a bus, have no other way to travel in this remote part of the country.

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It’s also home to some of Canada’s most beautiful scenery. Dusted with snow, the Rockies soared into an electric-blue sky, a perfect mirror image broadcast onto the still waters below. Tall trembling aspen lined the tracks, their round leaves shaking like tiny silver bells ringing in the slightest breeze. Staring mindlessly out of the window I began to tally up all the different trains of the previous four months when a large black bear standing in the middle of a field looked up as we flashed past. “BEAR!” I yelled, thrilled, and a bit smug that no one else had seen it. The sighting was a blessing as I saw little more than a herd of tatty-looking farmed bison once I’d got back on The Canadian – while munching through a bison burger. But where The Canadian faltered on wildlife it excelled in lamb steaks, pancakes, and beautiful lakes. Over four days and three nights we curled around mountains, cruised through prairies and arrived amid Toronto’s skyscrapers having undergone one of the greatest journey’s in the world.

www.viarail.ca

Japan: Shooting around on Shinkansen

A mistake I made before travelling to Japan was to watch Lost in Translation and fall prey to Sofia Coppola’s soft-focus illusion. After two weeks of shooting around the country by Shinkansen – the fleet of high-speed, bottle-nosed beauties – it became clear that the film was little more than a stereotypical, insular portrait of a magnetic, complex and multi-layered nation.

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Kanazawa railway station

Almost everything in Japan is designed for efficiency: packets of chopsticks come with a toothpick; a sachet of mustard with ketchup squeezes out two separate lines on a hotdog; the backs of toilet doors have harnesses for mothers to set down their babies. And trains are designed to take passengers from one destination to another as fast and as safely as possible. Nothing more. The average delay is 36 seconds and a series of earthquake counter measures triggers automatic braking that can stop a train at 187mph within 300 metres – while our own trains are cancelled as a result of leaves on the track.

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Nagasaki station

But where the spirit and soul of other Asian countries heaves out of train doorways – from clanging tea vats and steaming dumplings, to raucous card games and rocking babies – Japan’s trains are devoid. They slide up the platform with stealth, their bodies gleaming. On a blue square outside the doors, marked by a pair of painted white feet, a line of passengers makes a queue at a right angle. They slip in, take their seats, put in earphones, swipe their phones or shut their eyes. No one speaks. Sometimes they bring out ekiben – bento boxes containing regional specialities sold at stations. These beautiful wooden boxes are fitted with rice, breaded pork fillets or chicken teriyaki, black shreds of nori, or ginger, pickled pink. Ekiben look more like antique lacquered pieces for a mantelpiece, but they’re fast being replaced by the warm waft of KFC on board.

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An orderly queue forms before boarding

During my first ride on the Sakura Shinkansen from Osaka to Hiroshima I stood a ten-pence piece on its side, and (just to check), stood on one leg in the aisle – neither of us fell over. Nothing but a low whistle of wind filled the cabin and when a fellow bullet train shot the other way we tilted for no more than a few seconds. All heads were bowed, some dozing, some reading, when the conductor entered the carriage, removed his hat and bowed deeply before working his way up the aisle checking tickets. After he reached the top of the carriage he turned around and bowed again before leaving. No one looked up and I felt bad. But it didn’t matter, nothing was lost in translation. In that small motion it became clear that Japanese trains didn’t need music and mess and colour to be alive and filled with soul.

Japan specialists, InsideJapan Tours, offer tailored travel by rail across the country. A rail pass for two weeks costs £242. www.InsideJapanTours.com 0117 244 3263

Vietnam: The Reunification Express

A groan came from the bunk above, followed by the sound of a pillow being punched, then furious muttering. I don’t speak Danish but I recognise foul language when I hear it. Mandolin music had begun to whine from a speaker outside our compartment accompanied by a woman’s voice so shrill that only dogs should have heard it. As it swelled and flooded the carriage it was now my turn to let loose a few expletives. At 6am this was not conducive to a relaxing journey.

I had departed Hanoi at around 9pm the previous night on board what is commonly known as The Reunification Express – though no single train in Vietnam bears the name. Completed by French colonists in 1936, the line running from Hanoi to Saigon was severed in 1954 when Vietnam was divided into north and south. The railway then suffered from American bombing throughout the Vietnam War, but resumed its regular service in 1976. Now it’s a run-down, shabby service that has lost custom to budget airlines, but it is still the only way to witness the country in all its glory.

During peak season an extra service numbered SE17, the Limited Express, is put on to cope with the demand and, to my delight, was limited in more ways than one. Paint peeled off the walls like dead skin and the air conditioner’s grill was secured by four pieces of sellotape – two of which were flapping off. The berths creaked, squeaked and clanked and the gold polyester curtain contained more dust than the inside of a Dyson. But the magic of this journey lay outside the carriages.

For the first hour the train ran parallel to the highway with little more than a single wooden fence separating us from couples on scooters and trucks flitting past in the opposite direction. Racing neck and neck with lorry drivers chewing cigarettes and casting sideways glances into our compartment, the train then broke away from the road, swerving into the guts of the city and disappearing into the darkness of run-down houses lit by hurricane lamps and strung with children’s laundry. But the city soon fell away and the train thundered on through the night.

By morning tiny tufts of cloud hovered around the sun as it rolled its way alongside the train. Thick waxy leaves flapped at the sides of the carriage parting to show stacks of green bananas like fists of fat fingers. Palm trees stood to attention and buffalo wallowed in lotus-filled water, tiny white birds perched on their backs. Children clattered from one end of the carriage to the other, peering into compartments then running away while parents in vests gazed out of the windows or played cards. Patriotic classical hits were cranked up high and a metal cart of deep-fried chicken legs, cabbage and rice was wheeled up and down around noon.

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Between Hué and Danang the jungle crept up the hill and wrapped itself around the train, rising up like a green fortress. This section is renowned for its scenery and as the train slipped in and out of tunnels, and curled around cliffs, the ocean appeared below. Strips of creamy yellow sand trimmed the edges of the water at Lang Co Bay and continued all the way to Danang where I had decided to break up my journey for a few days and grudgingly disembarked. From Danang to Saigon I could only book a ticket sitting upright overnight surrounded by Vietnamese families eating tinned luncheon meat in baguettes, but that’s another story…

vietnam-railway.com is a sales agency which will book your tickets and have them promptly delivered to your hotel in Vietnam.

The Godfather of Trains: The Trans-Siberian

Oxana set down my green tea and a fork and patted me on the head. The dining car’s waitress had taken to mothering me since I boarded four days previously and seeing as she was the one who held court – and the keys to the fridge – I was more than happy to let her. At the next table a man in a singlet and slippers, scowled at my pot of instant mash and waved his hands, before tearing in half his buckwheat pancake filled with cottage cheese and tossing it across with a nod and a smile. Having watched him put away three cans of Stella since 9.30am, I obliged, and they were sweet and delicious.

The Trans-Siberian is the godfather of trains. Strictly speaking not a train but a route, it features on the bucket list of most rail enthusiasts, stretching more than 5,500 miles from Moscow to Vladivostok. But to mix things up I had chosen the more varied Trans‑Mongolian route (which veers away from Russia, dipping down through Mongolia into China), and broken up the journey by hopping off to ride the Circum-Baikal railway above Lake Baikal, and watch Swan Lake at the opera in Ulan Bator, before arriving in Beijing 11 days after setting off from Moscow.

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For the first two days I took up residence by the window watching leafless trees flash past until the scenery induced a meditative lull. Every few hours farmhouses and scarecrows in potato patches would breathe life into the greyness. But the real entertainment took place in the train’s corridors where passengers gathered to brew tea at the samovar or exchange stories – and during long-awaited stops where elderly women sold punnets of strawberries and young women in neon shorts hawked dried omul fish speared through the eye. At one such stop I rifled through the trolley of a lady who was picking her teeth while chatting to a friend, and offered her 90 roubles (85p) for a pack of playing cards. Even her son smirked and shook his head in disbelief that anyone would offer more than a cursory glance for what turned out to be a pack of 36 cards.

More than anything the train provided a geographical perspective that no aeroplane or car could ever match. Having picked up our location on Google maps in Moscow, I followed the blue sphere for five days as it moved across the globe, floating across territory that contained no cities, no lakes. But outside the window that territory was very much alive. At dusk on the eve of arrival at Ulan Bator rust-coloured sand dunes rose in the distance and rivers began to bend by the tracks. The sun threw stripes of red and orange across the sky, wholly unlike the mists that had hung across Siberia only days before.

Sunset over Mongolia

Sunset over Mongolia

Waking on the fifth morning, I pulled back the curtains to find Smurf‑blue sky and cliffs rising all around the train as it snaked into tunnels and burst out onto bridges over green water, at the edges of which squatted fishermen in wide trousers and bamboo hats. Stepping onto the platform at Beijing, I couldn’t quite believe how far I had come, but also how far there was to go…

Rail bookers (www.railbookers.com 020 3780 2256) offers holidays on the Trans-Siberian railway from £919 per person. As tailor-made rail-holiday experts they will create a unique trip for you, including stops along the way, hand-picked hotels and a range of excursions.

We’re all just a bit selfie-obsessed

Just for a moment, close your eyes and think back to the good old days before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Remember how, when you went on holiday, you would take a day trip to a historical site, climb to the top and take off all your clothes? Or perhaps when you went out for a romantic dinner, photographed your tiger prawns, then drove over to your best friend’s house to show them? No? Nor do I.

Earlier this month, four tourists were arrested for stripping naked at the summit of Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu and now face up to three months in jail. When I read the story over breakfast in a Rome hotel, I was more depressed than shocked. For the last six weeks that I’ve been train-hopping around Europe, my faith in the future of mankind has dwindled so far as to make me wince at the sight of tourists. Where once travel was a passive activity, it has now morphed into an aggressive, competitive sport. It’s no longer enough to slip into a city at night, stroll the streets by day, and leave as quietly as you came. Now you have to make your mark by scratching your name into a wall, airing your genitalia on a holy mountain or banging a padlock onto a bridge. It’s the travelling equivalent of taking a long drawn-out piss all over your neighbour’s front porch.

I first felt revulsion for the trend while walking hand in hand on the Pont des Arts last October. Paris’s bridges form the backbone of the city and are synonymous with romance, popping up in most art and literature. Yet, in 2008, couples began attaching metal padlocks to the Pont des Arts and throwing the keys into the water to symbolize their unbreakable love. Never mind that the keys are probably covered in sludge and littering the riverbed, the thousands of locks conceal the bridge’s original beauty and Parisian authorities have had to remove 45 tonnes of the dirty metal to prevent the bridge from collapsing. Padlocking these historical pieces of art is nothing short of vandalism. And if your relationship needs a padlock to signify its security, then you probably need to reconsider that relationship.

But the madness doesn’t stop there. Last week, I visited Juliet’s balcony at the Casa di Giulietta in Verona. There is no evidence that the Capulet family ever lived there, yet the city dines out on the tale of the star-crossed lovers and the walls in the courtyard below the balcony are covered in handwritten letters to “Juliet” from tourists who use chewing gum to attach their notes. Even Verona’s clock tower has succumbed to the abuse. With a panoramic view of the city’s terracotta rooftops and the river running along the periphery, it’s a spot of peace high above the main piazza. After climbing more than 300 steps, I reached the bell tower, only to find the walls and the grand old bell itself covered in graffiti. Did Olga and Georg really need to scratch their names into its rim? Was Glenda so oblivious to his affections that Marco was compelled to tell her on 8 December 2014 that he “hearted” her and deface the brickwork of the artist who built the façade? Would Fabio declare his love for Betta across a painting in the Louvre? Maybe clip a padlock onto The Thinker’s little finger? If the answer is no, then maybe he should think about why he did it here. As I crossed the Castel Vecchio bridge at night, I climbed onto the brick ledge and shuffled along to gaze at the river bubbling below. It tumbled in the glow of the streetlamps and I had an overwhelming sense of calm as I stroked the clean surfaces and admired the loveliness of the structure. But there it was. Like architecture’s answer to herpes, one nasty little padlock had appeared and it was bound to spread its disease. Verona’s mayor has responded by issuing fines, but it begs the question: where does this compulsion come from?

I fear it is part of the growing desperation to be a part of the story, to be seen and heard having a good time, all the time. It’s not enough to stand before the remnants of the Berlin Wall and absorb the enormity of all it represents; the experience is apparently enhanced by taking a photograph of yourself in front of it to tweet, post on Facebook or hashtag on Instagram. Heaven forbid anyone think you weren’t ever there. The greatest irony is that these people feel their experience is heightened, the immersion greater, when the truth is that the magic of travel eludes them.

A Korean couple sat at a table next to me in Florence filming each other eat. She held her camera under his fork, as he ate his penne rigata and veal ragu, and giggled. He filmed her poised with a forkful of rare steak. For more than one hour, the two of them photographed each other’s tiramisu, napkins and wine glasses, and exchanged no fewer than seven or eight words. I looked around at the restaurant and wondered, would they be able to describe the vintage wine cases lining the walls, faded at the edges? Would they remember the warm smell of fresh rosemary in vases, the murmur of voices and the sound of the first glug from a newly opened bottle of wine? Had they even noticed their table was an old barrel bottom? I’ve always erred on the side of the flâneur, strolling around observing the city. I’m pretty awful at taking photographs and hate carrying a camera, but I sometimes wonder whether my mind’s eye draws in more than any camera ever could. Balzac described flânerie as a science or “gastronomy of the eye”, but I fear that tastes have changed and if we are now a society that has to take naked photos at a historical site to enjoy the experience, then we are all the worse off for it.

The lead up to departure

In the space of two weeks, I have left my beloved job, moved house twice, and condensed my life into a 60-litre rucksack. I knew that planning for a 10-month trip around the world was going to require patience, resilience, and balls of steel, but what I never anticipated was that attempting to coordinate 80 train journeys with visa bureaucracy, border restrictions and below-zero temperatures would reveal less about what lay ahead, and more about what I was leaving behind.

Every morning, until the day of departure, I updated my to-do list which, somehow, grew at least five items overnight: walking shoes, Kindle cover, cancel phone tariff, travel insurance, new retainer. But soon a different list began to grow in my head: spend time with mum and dad, visit Kelly and Violet, stay at Ham Yard Hotel, enjoy a last BLT sandwich at Brioche. And it was that latter list that eventually overrode all my other stresses until they ceased to exist. The evening before I left, I found myself on a sunny bench outside London’s National Theatre with a glass of prosecco in one hand and Violet, my friend Kelly’s three-month-old baby, in the other. I was supposed to be buying a pair of walking shoes and the shop was about to close, but I’d shelved the trip to meet them on the Southbank. Kelly had Violet in early February but I’d been too “busy” to organize a time to see them. Only I wasn’t busy, I just had skewed priorities. I could always buy a pair of shoes en route, but I couldn’t give Violet a big cuddle or see her smirk at her mum. Two days earlier, I was toasting a family friend and his new wife at their wedding in Norfolk. They had decided to celebrate 21 years together by getting married and I had initially told them I couldn’t travel up because I had to collect last-minute tickets from Riga to Moscow and there was no other appointment available. But when I saw Tony appear in a top hat and tails and twirl Lizzie onto the dancefloor, I knew that attending their wedding had been the right thing to do, even if it meant having to have my tickets FedEx-ed abroad.

Then there came the seemingly frivolous things. I love bacon. Not that streaky nonsense that Americans call bacon, the rigid strips of crisped fat that snap in two, but the thick-cut baby-pink rashers of smoky meat, curled at the edges and trimmed with rind. My Saturday mornings aren’t complete without a couple of slices snuggled between hunks of white bread and slathered with ketchup, and on my last trip, I really missed the home comfort. So I took myself off to Brioche, my local café in West Hampstead and ordered the cinnamon toast with bacon and maple syrup—twice if I’m honest—just to make sure the taste and smell were safe in my memory bank.

Having rented out my home to a young Polish couple for the next year, I was essentially homeless for my last week in London and had to rely on the kindness of friends and the scum of the King’s Cross Travelodge for a bed until I checked into the Ham Yard Hotel for my last night. The newest edition to the Firmdale group of hotels owned by husband and wife team Tim and Kit Kemp, Ham Yard is carefully slotted into a square just behind Piccadilly Circus, and you would never know it was there if you weren’t looking for it. I’ve long been a fan of the Firmdale group, largely because they’re at once so utterly barmy and beautiful—much like London. From the Union Jack flapping above the entrances to the stripped-bare wooden floors, blast of colours and fabrics and lighting and action, the Kemps’ properties are the hotel equivalent of a mad British family, odd and delightful, but always warm and welcoming. After my last stay at the Haymarket Hotel, I foraged around the pillows to see that they were from The Best Bed Linen in the World, and bought some for my own bed. Ham Yard is even more outlandish than its siblings: the reception is strung with a giant cat’s cradle of multi-coloured wool, the orangery is lit with a tangled bunch of at least 15 different lampshades, and the cosy, colourful library has a tiny Queen Elizabeth in a jar—complete with tiny handbag. After dinner, I lay in the huge bath watching Britain’s Got Talent and drinking a cup of tea. Ham Yard isn’t exactly subtle in reminding you where you are. Not to say it’s like a UKIP rally, but they like their flags and British bulldogs and the Archer room, a navy-blue private dining room with swirly chairs has LONDON emblazoned across the wall and a phone box painting by the mirror. It’s quite comic at the best of times, but that night it just felt reaffirming. At breakfast, I went for my last real Full English and although this terrifying patriotism may be misconstrued as that English reluctance to let go of the familiar and venture into foreign territory, it was my way of taking a good long look around before I left it all behind. The next day I bought my walking shoes at 12.15pm before meeting my friends and family at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel bar at 12.30pm to board the first train to Paris. And they were none the wiser.

50 Best Travel Websites

Last week The Independent listed us in their 50 Best Travel Websites http://ind.pn/mJ0Qsj and as a result we’ve had lots of emails about booking trips to India and in particular, trains! Feel free to get in touch and we will see what we can do, and in the interim more train reviews will be added soon.

Happy travels!