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BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Berlin to The Rhein S01E03

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BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Berlin to The Rhein S01E03

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Michael begins this journey in Berlin, the capital of Germany, which at the beginning of the 20th century was a powerhouse of science and technology. Led by his 1913 railway guide, he then heads west via the picturesque Harz Mountains to the industrial Ruhr Valley to learn how imperial Germany was war ready. He then travels south along the tourist trail of the castle-studded Rhein river and ends his journey in the Rheingau to taste the wines of its age-old vineyards.
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BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Hungary to Austria S01E02

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Steered by his 1913 railway guide, on this journey Michael Portillo explores the once-great empire of Austria-Hungary, domain of the famous Habsburg monarchs. Starting in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, he travels via Bratislava in Slovakia to the beautiful and elegant city of Vienna, where he immerses himself in prewar decadence. From there, he travels to Salzburg, before heading to the magnificent scenery of the Salzkammergut region to visit the emperor's Austrian summer house at Bad Ischl, where in 1914 European history changed course forever.
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BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys London to Monte Carlo S01E01

Leaving London behind, armed with his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo follows the most popular route of the Edwardian traveller through France.

His first stop is Paris, where he absorbs the atmosphere of La Belle Époque, before he travels south to the Cote D'Azur, where he samples the Edwardian highlife and learns why the area attracted the rich and artistic alike. He then ends his journey as he arrives at the gaming tables in glamorous Monte Carlo.
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BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Turin to Venice S02E02

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Steered by his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo takes the train from the former political capital of Italy, Turin, to Casanova's capital of romance, Venice.

Along the way, he recreates the famous Italian Job on an historic Fiat test track and follows fashion in Milan before investigating the early 20th-century British love affair with Lake Como in a seaplane. In Verona, Michael discovers the 'House of the Capulets', bought to attract Edwardian tourists to the scene of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. He then heads over the rail bridge across the lagoon to Venice, where he finds a microcosm of pre-First World War Europe in the Venice Biennale art exhibition.
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BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Madrid to Gibraltar S02E01

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Armed with his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo returns to his native Spain to discover what the intrepid tourists of the Belle Epoque experienced on their travels through the fading Spanish Empire. Hard on their heels in Madrid, he visits the scene of a grim assassination attempt at the royal wedding of a British princess and a Spanish king.

Striking south to historic Cordoba, Michael dances with an unusual partner and enjoys all the fun of the feria. Heading further into Andalusia, Michael arrives in Seville, the city he has made his Spanish home and where, in the city's tobacco factory, he learns about a gypsy girl named Carmen.

After sipping sherry in Jerez, he traces Winston Churchill's tense diplomatic mission to Algeciras on Spain's Costa del Sol and finishes with tales of British espionage on the Rock of Gibraltar.

BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Amsterdam to Northern France S01E05

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Michael Portillo uses George Bradshaw's 1913 Continental Railway Guide to explore the dazzling cities of the pre-war Low Countries before tasting the delicacies of Brussels. He then travels to the French sector of the Western Front, where from 1914 the trains carried a new cargo of artillery shells, with the Edwardian tourists of 1913 replaced by soldiers facing the horrors of the trenches. He will end his epic journey in the forest of Compiegne to hear how, after four years of conflict, the Armistice was finally signed in a railway carriage.

Great Australian Railway Journeys Adelaide to Perth: The Indian Pacific Series 01 E03

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Michael Portillo embarks on a rail adventure aboard the transcontinental Indian Pacific Railway, which stretches from the southern port city of Adelaide, South Australia, 1,700 miles deep into the desert, to the gold rush town of Kalgoorlie, before finishing in Perth, Western Australia.

First, Michael explores McLaren Vale, where an enterprising early 19th century Briton with a murky past began to grow vines. Michael enjoys the fruits of his labours and hears his story from his great great great granddaughter.

Boarding the mighty Indian Pacific, Michael embraces the luxury of a previous age as he travels across Australia's notoriously remote and inhospitable Nullarbor Plain. He discovers the 100-year-old history behind the ambitious line and the tremendous feat of engineering it took to deliver it. In the ghost town of Cook, Michael helps to top up the train's water and is rewarded with dinner under the stars at Rawlinna. He strikes gold in one of the most lucrative goldfields in the world and strikes it lucky in the traditional Australian gambling game of 'Two Up'.

He pays a flying visit to the doctor to hear how patients in remote Western Australia are cared for, then takes to the skies to admire Perth, one of the world's most isolated cities, and its port of Fremantle. South of the city, in Pinjarra, he uncovers a dark chapter in the histories of both Britain and Australia – a child migration programme devised at the time of Michael’s Bradshaw's Guide.

Back in Perth, Michael hears how Edward VIII was caught up in a train accident near Bridgetown and is invited to an Aussie barbie.




Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Great Asian Railway Journeys S01E14

Steered by his 1913 Bradshaw’s guidebook on a 2,500-mile rail tour of south east Asia, Michael Portillo is in Indonesia, today one of the biggest coffee producers in the world. In the mountainous interior of Java, Michael discovers how coffee was first brought to the island for cultivation and learns about production today.
In the city of Semarang, headquarters of the Dutch East Indies Railway Company, Michael visits the Great Mosque, whose sheer scale is a reminder that there are more Muslims in Indonesia than in any other country.
Journey’s end is at the port of Surabaya, second largest city in Java, a port bursting with local traditions, produce and culture. Michael learns the story behind its proud moniker, “City of Heroes”.

BBC's Great Asian Railway Journeys Bangkok S01 E05 [HD]

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Michael Portillo is in the Thai capital, Bangkok, midway through his rail tour of Thailand. He learns how the late 19th-century King Rama V built a grand palace and introduced railways to his country. He discovers the fine terminus commissioned by the king and meets a historian and designer who shares family roots with the present royal dynasty. Michael learns that King Rama V’s love of steam engines was inspired by Queen Victoria.

At the colossal new station under construction in the city, Michael hears how its four levels and 24 platforms will transform Thailand’s transport infrastructure. He circles the Grand Palace by tuk tuk, then boards the 21st-century skytrain for a wonderful view of the city.

Michael dines on the water in a floating market, where purchases are made from boat to boat. Following in the footsteps of writers such as Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene and John Le Carre, Michael checks into the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, built just before his guide.



Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Great Australian Railway Journeys Canberra to Melbourne Series 01 E04

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Armed with his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo crosses the south east of Australia from the seat of government in Canberra to the multi-ethnic heart of its second largest city, Melbourne.

Floating above Canberra in a hot air balloon, Michael sees how Australia’s Bush Capital was planned in the early 20th century. He discovers the story behind the Ashes at the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground and cheers for England in the last 20 20 match of the season. Hard on the heels of the infamous outlaw Ned Kelly, Michael enjoys a special screening of the world’s first feature film, made in 1906, which tells of his exploits. At the beautiful former home of superstar soprano, Dame Nellie Melba, Michael discovers her origins and her global fame and listens to one of her best-known songs.

The Puffing Billy narrow gauge steam railway, built in 1900, takes Michael through the rainforest of the Dandenong mountains across a spectacular trestle bridge. Michael meets some of the 1,000 volunteers who keep the line in service.

Michael finishes at Birregurra, 80 miles west of Melbourne, on a 500-acre sheep farm, which was founded by British settlers from Devon during the 1840s. Here, he discovers the story of Australia told in a single family - and learns how to shear a sheep.


Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.
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Great Australian Railway Journeys Port Augusta to Darwin:The Ghan Series 01 E01

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Michael Portillo ventures down under to experience one of the world’s greatest rail journeys aboard the legendary Ghan Railway. His 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide tells him 'a transcontinental railway is being constructed' and he traces its route from the southern harbour of Port Augusta to the port of Darwin on the north coast.

Along the way, Michael uncovers the history of the ambitious project, which stretches nearly 2,000 miles across Australia’s red centre, and learns why it took nearly a century to complete.

Steaming through the Flinders Ranges, Michael travels on the Pichi Richi heritage railway - the only remaining part of the Old Ghan line in operation - before boarding the luxurious modern passenger service at Alice Springs bound for Darwin. Nearly a kilometre in length, the Ghan is hauled by two locomotives and three power vans, contains four kitchens, five restaurants, five bars and 23 carriages of accommodation.

In the Outback city of Alice Springs, Michael meets the indigenous Arrente people of the region around their campfire, where he hears dreaming stories and shares their bush-tucker. He learns first-hand how their grandparents were mistreated at the time of his guidebook, when state policy required that children be taken from their families to be assimilated into white society.

Orphaned joeys Tilly and Max are pleased to see Michael at Brolga’s Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs. Max enjoys a cuddle, while a hungry Tilly wants to be fed.

Close by, at Bond Springs Cattle Station, Michael discovers the rags to riches story of the early 20th-century cattle king Sidney Kidman, and meets the family who today run one of his former ranches. Fellow passengers aboard the Ghan take Michael by surprise on his journey between Alice Springs and Katherine, where he alights to explore the traditional lands of aboriginal groups along the exquisite Katherine Gorge.

Arriving in Darwin, capital of the tropical Northern Territory, on the eve of ANZAC day, Michael joins Australians to mark the anniversary of the First World War battle that defined their nation.

BBC's Great Asian Railway Journeys Bangkok to HuaHin S01 E06 [HD]

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Michael Portillo continues his exploration of Thailand by rail, steered by his 1913 Bradshaw’s guide. He steps into the ring under the guidance of champion trainer Master Toddy to learn Muay Thai boxing. Can he perfect the cobra-inspired right hook?

Taking his courage in both hands, Michael confronts his dread of snakes to assist in a surgical operation on a deadly venomous king cobra. He discovers the lifesaving work of Bangkok’s Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, established at the time of his guide by the royal family after the death of a young princess.

Striking south to the resort of Hua Hin, Michael learns the history of the Southern Railway and hears how royal patronage kickstarted today’s Thai tourist industry. He meets the niece of the present king, Rama X, at the Palace of Love and Hope, created by their ancestor, King Rama VI, to hear about a colourful restoration project.



Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

BBC's Great Asian Railway Journeys Hong Kong University to Lantau Island S01 E02 [HD]

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Michael Portillo continues his exploration of Hong Kong aboard the impressive MTR metro system, which handles six million trips a day.

In Wan Chai, he discovers why Hong Kongers are protesting all over the city and asks them about their hopes and fears. At Hong Kong University, Michael learns about the father of modern China, Sun Yat Sen, who was a student there at the time of his Bradshaw’s Guide. In the walled villages of the New Territories, Michael meets a descendant of one of Hong Kong’s oldest dynasties.



Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

BBC's Great Asian Railway JourneysJakarta to Bogor S01E11[HD]

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Michael Portillo’s 2500-mile railway tour of south east Asia reaches its southern most point in Indonesia. His journey crosses the island of Java at the heart of this archipelago nation of 270 million people.

In the heaving capital city of Jakarta, Michael uncovers Indonesia’s Dutch colonial past and its rich history as a port but discovers its future is uncertain. He negotiates the city’s notorious traffic, makes a colourful cycle ride, tries the newly launched MRT metro and dines out on Jakarta’s famous street food. He admires Bogor’s Botanical Gardens, now a centre for research and conservation, and finds they were developed by an Englishman, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, once Governor of Java.

BBC's Great Canadian Railway Journeys Kamloops to Banff S01 EPISODE 09/15

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Clutching his 1899 Appleton's Guide, Michael Portillo boards one of the world's most famous trains, the Rocky Mountaineer, to cross the backbone of the North American continent from Kamloops to the spa resort of Banff. This magnificent journey takes him to the highest point of the 19th-century transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway line at Kicking Horse Pass, past Lake Louise and inside spiral tunnels blasted through the mountains.

Along the way, Michael hears of the harsh and dangerous conditions endured by the Chinese and European labourers who built the railway and the many deaths which resulted. He looks back at the historic driving of the Last Spike, which completed the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. After chatting with fellow passengers, Michael reports for duty in the luxury train's restaurant car. Reaching Banff, Michael follows his Appleton's guide to the luxurious Banff Spring Hotel, built by the railway company. At Sulphur Mountain close by, he explores an underground hot spring discovered by railway workers in 1883 and he learns how it prompted the creation of Canada's first national park. He finishes this leg of his tour of western Canada with a dip in the warm waters beneath and a hike on its summit.



Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.
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BBC's Great Asian Railway Journeys Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet S01E07 [HD]

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Armed with his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo boards the Unification Railway for a thousand-mile journey from Ho Chi Minh City in the south to the northern capital, Hanoi, and finishing in the beautiful emerald seas of Halong Bay.

Michael’s Bradshaw’s unlocks for him the traumatic 20th-century history of today’s Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a former French colony.

On this leg, Michael braves the streets of Ho Chi Minh City on a motorbike, one of 8.5 million people to do so daily. He attempts the national sport, da cau, and samples the French-Vietnamese fusion food banh mi.

BBC's Great Indian Railway Journeys Amritsar to Shimla S01E01

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Guided by his Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel, Michael Portillo travels across India. He embarks on a classic rail journey from Amritsar to Shimla. Along the way, he helps to feed the thousands at the world's largest free kitchen and travels the railway routes used by millions of migrants partition. He gives his trademark colourful wardrobe an Indian twist and reaches the foothills of the Himalayas, where the epic Kalka to Shimla hill railway carries him to the former summer seat of the British rulers of the Raj.

Published when the British Raj was at its height, Michael's guide leads him to some of the key locations in India's 20th-century story, from the massacre in Amritsar in 1919 to the bloody events of partition.

Beginning in the Sikh holy city, Michael is dazzled by the beauty of the Golden Temple and awed by the scale of its langar - the world's largest free kitchen.

His route then takes him through the Punjab, India's breadbasket. Michael samples traditional chapattis, has a colourful kurta made up in one of the Punjab's biggest cloth markets, and can't resist the foot-tapping rhythms of Punjabi bhangra dancing, made famous by Bollywood. Portillo's journey also reveals surprises. He uncovers a pioneering women's medical college in Ludhiana, before plunging into Chandigarh, designed by Le Corbusier as a modernist expression of India's post-independence future.

At Kalka, Michael glimpses the Himalayas for the first time and joins the 1906-built mountain railway for a stunning climb to Shimla. There, he relives the days when the creme de la creme of expatriate society went to socialise and rule - their exploits recorded by a young Rudyard Kipling

BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Dresden to Kiel S02E03

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Steered by his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo explores Germany, the powerhouse of today's European Union and learns how tourists in the early 20th century would have been visiting quite a new country, which they admired and envied but also feared.

Beginning in Dresden, Michael explores the city of one of his favourite opera composers, Richard Wagner. He learns about the health craze of the time and attempts the equivalent of a 1913 Jane Fonda workout. He travels to Leipzig on a historic railway line built by British engineers in 1839. In Brunswick, he learns how the arrival of the railway added its own flavour to the local beer before moving on to Hamburg, where he discovers model railway making on the grandest of scales.

In Kiel, Michael learns about the intense rivalry between Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and his uncle, Britain's King Edward VII, at the Kiel Week yacht races. Michael boards an early 20th-century yacht to experience the thrill for himself and learns how British yachtsmen spied on the German navy.

BBC's Great Asian Railway Journeys Jakarta to Borobudur/Kutoarjo S01E12 [FHD]

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Michael continues his journey across the largest island of the Indonesian archipelago, from the capital, Jakarta. His seven-hour railway journey takes him through rainforests and paddy fields as he heads to the volcanic heart of Java’s Central Province. He visits Java’s most dangerous volcano, Mount Merapi, and learns how over 300 people were killed when it erupted in 2010.

In the nearby village of Bendo, Michael tries his hand at the traditional art of noodle-making. This leg of Michael’s journey ends at the country’s greatest ancient monument, the magnificent Borobudur Temple, where he hears that the world’s largest Buddhist shrine lay hidden under volcanic ash for centuries.

BBC's Treasures of the Indus Of Gods and Men S01E03 [HD]

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In a journey across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Sona Datta traces the development of the Hindu religion from its origins as an amalgamation of local faith traditions to its dominant position today. She uncovers this fascinating tale by looking at the buildings in which the faith evolved, moving from the caves and rock temples on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipurem, through the monolithic stone temple at Tanjavur to the vast complex of ornately carved towers, tanks and courtyards at Madurai, where every evening the god Shiva processes around the precincts to visit the bedchamber of his partner Parvati.

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