5 Reasons Why Thomas Stevens Would Have Signed up for the Orient Express
Cycle touring in Europe and around the world has been happening for decades – centuries for some. Thomas Stevens cycled thru Europe on a similar route to what we will take this summer on the Orient Express. He then carried on across the rest of our fine planet. He did this in the 1880s and he didn’t sign up for his tour online – that’s for sure. His adventure wasn’t supported by vehicles and staff and there were no predetermined accommodations each night.
To this day, many people choose to cycle through Europe under their own guidance and carrying their own gear. So why would Thomas Stevens and many other hardy independent adventurers of today choose to come on our organized tour of Europe? Most of us are perfectly capable of plotting a route and finding our own food and accommodations each day. But there is also real value in coming on a supported tour.
1. We save you time.
Thomas Stevens must have spent months plotting out his route and researching shipping routes and land routes that would get him around the globe. The Orient Express Team do all the route research,and provide you with the route details based on our six previous editions of this tour. We arrange for hotel and campsite accommodations throughout the route. Once on the road, we carry your bags in our support trucks, cook you delicious meals and allow you to focus on what you came to Europe for – cycling!
2. We provide peace of mind.
If something goes wrong the staff jump into action and solve the crisis – whether it’s a closed road, accommodations that have shut without warning or if you have taken a wrong turn. Each day you cycle from point to point while a whirlwind of support activities allow you to enjoy your day. Mr. Stevens, no doubt, spent much time and energy on problem-solving each day – resulting in delays and frustrations. Are you starting to feel sorry for Thomas yet?
3. Local Knowledge and Experience
A pack of brightly dressed cyclists pulling up to a roadside café in a small French village often stirs curiosity and questions. These are great opportunities to engage with the local population. Our staff often have great suggestions for local sites and local cafés to consider visiting. Did Thomas Stevens know where to find great coffee in the French countryside? Did he know where the best campsite in Carta, Romania was? And did he know which border from Bulgaria into Turkey is the easiest and most efficient? I think not.
4. A unique journey, an interesting Route
We allow you the opportunity to have unique experiences – both planned and unplanned. Stopping for pastries and good coffee in a village along the route, laughing at your fellow riders hidden talents during an impromptu ‘talent night’ or visiting a European landmark you never expected you would see in person. With a route that has been fine tuned over several years, I’m certain we will have more fun than ol’ Tom Stevens.
5. New cycling friends
I would suspect that Thomas Stevens was a bit of an introverted oddball when he returned home after cycling alone for two years. Sure he met people along the way, but there was no one taking on the challenge in its entirety with him. On the Orient Express, it’s a team effort. Your cycling friends and the hard working staff are all pulling together to achieve our goal of reaching the finish point in Istanbul – on time and in fine cycling shape.
It was unfortunate that in Thomas Steven’s time there were no options for joining a group of cyclists on a supported tour. But he is no different than many of us… we are all just looking for fun and adventure.