Michael's back, and this time he and his trusty railway guide are travelling through time to a Europe just about to feel the first tremors of the fast approaching Great War. So tune in tonight and experience Edwardian life on the railways as Michael Portillo's acclaimed series, Great Continental Railway Journeys enters its 5th series. From the Carpathian Mountains to the Swiss Alps and beyond, navigate tracks that have been hauling history for generations, every Tuesday at 9pm on BBC2.Episode 7 - Rotterdam to Utrecht
Steered by his 1913 Bradshaw's Continental Railway Guide, Michael Portillo heads for the Netherlands, where he roots around the world's largest flower auction in Haarlem, operates a crane in Europe's largestcontainer port, Rotterdam, and investigates Amsterdam's famous red-light district.
Armed with his 1913 Bradshaw's Continental Railway Guide, Michael Portillo ventures to the northernmost reaches of Europe, where he braves the freezing temperatures of the Baltic Sea and finds peace paddling a canoe on the lakes of Finland. On his journey from the Latvian capital, Riga, to the Manchester of Finland, Tampere, Michael encounters medieval knights in Tallinn, grills sausages in Helsinki and samples cloudberry liqueur in a hot tub by the light of Finland's midnight sun.
Michael Portillo embarks on an action-packed adventure from the Italian Riviera to the Austrian Alps with his Bradshaw's 1913 Guidebook in hand. Along the way, our man of the match discovers how an Edwardian Briton brought 'the beautiful game' to the historic port of Genoa. Michael is ambushed by singers of the city's legendary trallalero and learns to whip up a mean pesto genovese.
Michael Portillo leaves Europe behind to take in the sights, smells and tastes of north Africa as he travels from the Mediterranean port of Tangier to the Berber city of Marrakech.
Armed with his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo travels from the Swiss Alps to the shores of Lake Geneva. Along the way, he is caught up in a war zone with the Red Cross and rescued from an avalanche by a St Bernard puppy. He takes to the skies in a vintage bi-plane to retrace the epic journey of the pioneering pilot who was first to fly over the Alps and tries his hand at watchmaking, James Bond style.
With Bradshaw's 1913 Continental Railway Guide in hand, Michael Portillo ventures east through Romania. He encounters a bloodsucking vampire in Transylvania and brown bears in the Carpathian forest before visiting a fairy tale castle with modern conveniences in Sinaia, striking oil in Ploesti, tapping into the nation's musical soul in Bucharest and loading cargo from a 100-foot crane in Constanta.
In this very first episode Michael's latest adventures take him to Romania, where he explores the Gothic legend of Count Dracula before a wild encounter with brown bears, thriving in a habitat that's changed little since 1913, and ending his trip on the shores of the Black Sea.
Stunning scenery and spectacular views are enough to take your breath away as we travel by rail through the heart of the Swiss Alps on the world-famous Glacier Express train. We enjoy thrilling mountain railways, charming towns and dramatic Alpine scenery for which Switzerland is justly famous.
Journey through the heart of the Alps on this grand tour of majestic Switzerland. Visit the picturesque cities of St Gallen and Lucerne, explore delightful Lugano and Bern and experience wonderful Swiss rail over and around the spectacular Swiss peaks.
Relax by Lake Geneva and explore the dramatic Swiss scenery that surrounds our base in Champéry. From there, explore the expansive Alps aboard funicular mountain railways, lake steamers and efficient Swiss trains. Pass the mighty peak of Mont Blanc by rail and discover the history of the charming St. Bernard dog.
Embark on an exciting thousand-mile journey along the mighty Danube, cruising through eight countries before arriving at the Black Sea. Admire the river's full spectrum of vistas - from Austria's wine regions to the imperial cities of Budapest and Bratislava; from rural Romania to lively Serbia, and the beautiful gorge between them.