Michael Portillo embarks on a new series of railway adventures across Europe, discovering new regions, cities and cultures through the eyes of followers of Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide, which, in 1913, opened up foreign travel to the discerning British tourist. At a time of great change in Europe, when vast and powerful empires ruled by royal dynasties were about to be swept away by the Great War, growing national pride led new nations to fight for independence. Ground-breaking developments in science and technology went hand in hand with exciting new movements in art, architecture, music and cinema. Series 5 sees Michael venture from Transylvania to the Black Sea, flying over the Alps in a vintage bi-plane and breakfasting with the Berbers in the Atlas mountains. He travels north through the singing Baltic nations to the lakes of Finland, pump the North Sea from the Low Countries, navigates the flower auction of Haarlem and re-lives the Alpine Trial of 1913 with glamorous spin along the Italian Riviera in a convertible Rolls Royce.