Monday, September 18, 2017

Travels with Agatha Christie: A Life Passion

Lorraine Masonheimer has been researching Agatha Christie inspired travel and she's come up with a fabulous itinerary. 

Agatha Christie’s first taste of international travel began at the age of six when she took the cross-channel ferry from England to the south of France for a summer with family.  Travel became a lifelong passion that inspired her writing throughout her career.  She traveled exotic places including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Tasmania, Hawaii, Canada and throughout the Middle East.  

Imagine sailing with Agatha down the River Nile while she penned her best seller Death on the Nile.  If only one could share tea in the dining car aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient Express as she began creating the book Murder on the Orient Express and agree to meet for after dinner drinks at the Pera Palace Hotel  Jumeirah in Istanbul before retiring to your room for the night.

While traveling with Agatha is a fanciful thought, visiting the places that made a vivid impression on her is attainable.  The Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah in Istanbul, Turkey is considered a restored “museum hotel” that was a popular destination for many celebrities over the years including Alfred Hitchcock and Hemingway.  Agatha’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, discovered from her travel diaries she had stayed in room 411 during her visits to archaeological digs in the Middle East.  It is rumored she may have been writing Murder on the Orient Express while booked in room 411.   A stay in the Agatha Christie King Room runs about $540 a night depending upon the time of year.  The richly appointed hotel has daily English Tea Time, an Agatha Restaurant and an Orient Bar where unique drinks and a special Orient Express Menu are offered to guests.  Guided visits to the historic Sirkeci Railway Station, the Railway Station Museum and other Agatha-inspired activities are available.  Occasionally the hotel hosts murder-mystery dinners based on Christie’s work.  To book the Agatha Christie King Room visit under Pera Palace Hotel.  

Enjoy a welcome glass of champagne in the luxurious bar car while imaging Poirot gathering the suspects to solve the crime.  Then, settle in for a luxurious six day trip through Turkey, Bulgaria, and Austria with touring stops in the cities of Bucharest, Budapest and depart in Venice for the trip home.  Book through under Istanbul-Venice.

Try a cruise down the River Nile on the Steam Ship Sudan where Agatha wrote Death on Nile which became the set for the movie.  The intimate ship has five suites with a total of 23 cabins all with period furniture.  Sit on the promenade deck while reading the book to experience it as it was inspired.  Contact to learn more about it.

While many of Agatha’s books captured her impressions of life around the world, she concocted most murders set at home in England. Over 20 novels were inspired within the English Riviera and South Devon area where the Agatha Christie Literary Trail lies.  Along the trail, visit the original Majestic Hotel and the Imperial Hotel in Torquay which inspired the setting for The Body in the Library and Peril at End House.  The Man in the Brown Suit was set in Kents Cavern in Torquay or ride the train to Churston Station for a walk to Elberry Cove where the setting inspired the book ABC Murders.  The historic homes and landmarks along the trail are restored to their original status as Agatha Christie experienced it.  Plan your trip at  

There are so many exotic and familiar places to walk in Agatha Christie’s steps and experience first-hand her inspiration for murders to come.  What an exciting way to travel.  To plan the perfect trip, read the book The Grand Tour:  Around the World with the Queen of Mystery by Agatha Christie. The travelogue edited by her grandson, provides clues to the plots and locales of some of her bestselling mystery novels.  You may find a place to travel that sets the writer in you on fire.

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