Rides in Turkey

Our own cave was more elegant but with much the same view. It looked out over a huge swathe of Cappadocia; a swirling landscape the colour of oatmeal and peaches; gorges full of pinnacles like clusters of spears; the distant cone of Mount Erciyes, lightly powdered in snow.

This being a fable, the pinnacles were known as “fairy chimneys” and every morning the sky was full of hot-air balloons (it’s a long-established tradition for visitors to drift over Cappadocia in a balloon).

While the shepherdess enjoyed all this with her sheep, we watched in Ottoman splendour. Our cave had been transformed. Only Lucy (our five-year old) had a bed in the rock. The rest of our suite erupted grandly out of the ground. One room was like a parliament for sultans. There were alcoves, silks, a magnificent bed, seating for 20 viziers and an acre of Persian rugs. We even had a giant sultan’s bathtub, with a view across the steppes.

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