Romance and a royal nod
Rob Ingram finds Art Deco glamour by river and imperial elegance by rail on a voyage in central Europe
OR too many people, travel has become like fast food. The convenience of getting it over and done with rates higher than the quality of the experience.
Planes still aren’t fast enough for some travellers but, as Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood contends, the human soul can only go as fast as a man can walk.
So in the maelstrom of today’s check-ins, security screenings, customs inspections and immigration procedures, there are those of us who still look longingly at vintage travel posters.
Here are the travellers of yesteryear languid and laidback, casual and carefree, supine and somnolent, in linen suit and hooded coat, in boater and cloche hat, sleek of silhouette, Gatsby glam, deco dandy, waiting patiently beside a pyramid of bespoke luggage for a uniformed attendant.
Could travel have ever been this gracious and refined?
On a platform in the showpiece train station of Linz, Austria’s third-largest city, a group of casual and carefree wayfarers await their train earlier this year with perhaps a little more clamour than glamour.
The men have favoured the cargo pant and the T-shirt honouring beer brands and football franchises rather than the restricting tuxedo and top hat, and the women are clad in mesh tank tops and workout tights rather than the silk tea gowns of the ’20s.
But elegance isn’t far down the line.
More than 30,000 travellers a day pass through Linz Central, but this select group is about to board the Majestic Imperator Train de Luxe.
DOUBLE THE LUXURY: The high-quality interior of acarriage.