Launched in 1883 and officially christened in 1891, the Orient
Express became the world's most famous train, transporting passengers
between Paris and Istanbul. In its heyday in the 1930s, the
luxury train took three nights to cross Europe and arrive at
the gateway to the Middle East -- a journey that inspired romance,
intrigue and Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.
Though some "nostalgia" trains still bear the fabled name, the
original Orient Express stopped running in 1977. FRONTLINE/World
Fellow Marton Dunai, a Hungarian, decided to retrace the route,
from Turkey to France, on a series of modern trains, in search
of the "new" Europe.
Dunai is a Hungarian reporter who recently completed his
studies at U.C. Berkeley's graduate school of journalism.
He currently lives and works in his native Budapest, Hungary.
"I was born in Communist Europe," says the 28-year-old Dunai, "raised in post-Communist Hungary, and although I never emigrated, now I find myself living in the European Union."
The rapid changes in Europe have been invigorating, but also discombobulating. Some, like Donald Rumsfeld, have politicized the very terms "new Europe" and "old Europe" -- designating European nations that supported the U.S. war in Iraq as "new Europe" and those that did not as "old Europe." But in his journey, Dunai finds a Europe that is becoming an ever tighter community, independent of the United States, with surprising cross-currents and fault lines.
"There are no easy categories," says Dunai. "Come see it for yourself."