Feeling nostalgic for the Golden Age of Travel

The Presidential Train

The mid-morning sun throws dappled light across her royal blue shiny exterior – I spot her immediately as we enter the azulejo-embellished Sao Bento station in Porto. Sitting patiently at platform 6, our chariot back in time (and concurrently into Portugal’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro Valley), cut a fine figure against the ordinary slate-grey workhorses grinding in and out on the neighbouring tracks.  

We’ve dressed up for the occasion. This isn’t your regular touristy day trip, nor your average commute. An occasion like this calls for ironed chinos and pencil skirts. I’ve even blow dried my hair. 

Maybe the fairytale starts with the free-flowing white port and canapés served by dapper waiters or maybe it’s just sweetened by it. Either way, once aboard, we’re happily esconded inside a piece of Portugal’s history.

*Read the full story from International Traveller Issue 36 on the PDF here