All stations ... villagers in Romania.

The path of Poirot

Like the famous detective, Gavin Bell travels the classic Orient Express route across Europe, at a fraction of the cost.

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When in room ... and from Hotel Le Continental, Bordeaux.

Keys to the cities

A Bordeaux bolthole for $120 a night? A riverside retreat in Lisbon for the same? Here's our guide to some of Europe's best-value hotels and guesthouses this season.

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Whirling Dervishes at Mevlevi Monastery, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey.

A six-strong spin on religion

THE world is full of interesting and unusual religious practices, from worshipping cows to eating only fish on Fridays.

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Off the map ... (clockwise from above) street life in Istanbul's Fener-Balat district

Byzantine encounters

Beyond Istanbul's golden triangle, John Brunton observes life in the city's historic Fener neighbourhood.

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