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An oriental voyage enriched with delicious ramen

Nalynn Dolan Caine |
This week we lead you to Adriatic sea bed to visit Croatian Titanic, to see what the Japanese are crazy for, but for the start try to solve the murder on Orient Express.

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Oriental travelling
If you like to read books you certainly didn't miss "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie. It is probably the most known story related to the legendary Orient Express which started its first journey in 1883 from Paris to Vienna, under the name "Express d'Orient". It became the legend in 1891, when it officially changed its name to Orient Express. Orient Express reached its peak in the 1930s and become famous and respectable for comfort, luxury, service and the quality of its cuisine. All who had a lot of money those days: bourgeoisie, nobles and royalty, patronized it. In 1930s Orient Express bloomed.

At the end of the Cold War, when Iron Curtain, a physical boundary that divided Europe, ceased to exist, Orient Express continued to run but the ex-Communist nations took railway services in their hands.

By 1962, the Orient Express and Arlberg Orient Express had stopped running, leaving only the Simplon Orient Express. In 1977, the Direct Orient Express was withdrawn completely, with the last Paris-Istanbul service running on May 19 of that year.

The Venice-Simplon Orient Express set a world record in September 1988, for the longest train journey ever made, outrivaling previously longest train line which connected Manchester and Karachi. At the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Fuji Television, the Orient Express travelled all the way from France to Hong Kong. Today you can hire the whole train for yourself, choose a destination, gifts (leather goods, silver jewellery...), even a murder mystery scenario. You are travelling on the mystery train, anyway.

Yokohama, Japan
Yokohama, the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture, lies south of Tokyo in the Kanto region. It is known by Yokohama Marine Tower, the tallest inland lighthouse in the world and by the Cosmo Clock 21, the largest Ferris wheel in the world at the time when it was built in 1989. Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Japan is also worth to be seen, Yokohama Chinatown is the largest Chinatown in Japan and one of the largest in the world. To shorten "the tallest", "the biggest" and "the largest" story, let's go to visit a tasty museum to eat ramen.

Japanese are absolutely crazy for ramen. They are ramen maniacs, in fact. We are not talking about sport or something like that; we are talking about noodles that originally came from China. Today, in Japan you can find over 200,000 ramen restaurants and the best way to celebrate that heavenly food was, what else, to open a ramen museum. Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum, a unique ramen museum, is situated only three minutes from JR Shin-Yokohama station which unlike other museum stays open until 11pm.

On the two floors and two underground levels you can look the "exhibits", buy a souvenir, look at the historical development of instant ramen, visit miniature historical theme park, or enter one (or few) of eight ramen shops to taste some of ramen dishes. Each shop has its own characteristic noodles and its own selection of toppings: ramen in miso-flavoured soup, in a salty whitish broth, then "mini ramen", which would be the opposite of "big ramen" portion, we suppose, and so on, so on...

Croatian Titanic, Rovinj, Croatia
Rovinj City, one of the most beautiful towns on the Adriatic coast, is located on the western coast of the Istria peninsula in Croatia. Rovinj is surrounded by 22 islands and most of them are perfectly destinations for a daily trips or a tour by boats. Rovinj is nested a half way between the equator and the North Pole which made it the most ideal touristic spot.

The sea near Rovinj hides Croatian Titanic, a passenger wreck Baron Gautsch that lies 40 metres below the surface, some six nautical miles south-west from St. Ivan lighthouse. Baron Gautsch was Austria's Lloyd insurance company ship which travelled between south Dalmatian coast and Trieste in Italy.

The year is 1914, the First World War begins. Among regular trips, Baron Gautsch also carries refugees which leave dangerous Adriatic waters. On August 13, 1914, at 11am, the ship took her last trip from the harbour of Veli Losinj to Trieste. The weather was sunny, the sea was quiet, nothing pointed to a disaster that will happen five hours later. But, due to mistake of the second officer the ship entered the mine field at 3:45pm and sunk only seven minutes later. There were 300 passengers on the ship, 150 of them drown, almost all members of the crew survived.

of the lifeboats didn't lowered to the sea because they were poorly maintained or too crowded, while life-belts were locked in cabinets so that third class travellers won't be able to use them as pillows during the voyage. Baron Gautsch is considered as one of the most beautiful Croatian wreck sites. Visit it if you can.

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