My husband and I (yup, still not used to saying that) decided the only logical solution to honeymooning would be to have two: a mini-moon in Turkey straight after the wedding, and a maxi-moon in Peru a few weeks later once we had settled back into life in South America.

Gabriel O'Rorke


So, after disappearing into a puff of smoke after our wedding, we stayed in a lovely little B&B, Caddon View, half way to Edinburgh Airport. After smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and very little sleep, we set off the next morning for Istanbul.

Matiana Travel were our tour operator of choice for our first trip as Mr and Mrs, and after 24-hours in Istanbul's plush new Shangri-la Hotel - where we headed to the CHI spa (Europe's first) after breakfast for a complimentary reflexology massage, ended up booking a couples hammam and not emerging into daylight until 2pm.

Having both been to Istanbul before, we didn't feel the need to visit every mosque again, but we whiled away the afternoon drinking tea in Sultanahmet Square before watching the sun set over the blue mosque from a rooftop café.


The next morning, we flew south to Cappadocia. Some time ago I saw a photograph of 100 hot air balloons rising high over limestone stacks known as "fairy chimneys", immediately an obsession started, I knew I had to visit and for some reason it jumped out as the perfect honeymoon.

I know the honeymoon destination is often a surprise for the bride, but with me being a travel writer and Mr L being an accountant, funnily there wasn't too much discussion over who would plan ours...

So, Cappadocia it was, and for accommodation, well, what could be more romantic than a cave? A Relais & Chateaux cave, of course - this is honeymoon after all!

"Fifty years ago almost everyone lived in caves, now just a few families still do," said Adem our guide as we set off to explore an underground city spread five floors into the earth, big enough to house 2,000 people and used as a hideout in centuries gone by to escape none other than the Romans.


Returning to the hotel we ate delicious Turkish mezzes overlooking the peacock garden (if that's not enough for you, there's a turtle garden too, complete with baby turtles!) before whiling away the afternoon by the pool.

The next morning we had a 4am wake-up call. Fear not, we had not lost the plot, the bait pulling us from bed at this ungodly hour was, of course, hot air ballooning.

Heading off into the early morning, we were followed by a Land Rover bearing our balloon and wicker basket on a trailer. The pilot did a few tests to check the wind direction, and before we knew it the balloon was filled and we were packed inside like a picnic floating a meter above the grass.

Gliding through the air, we passed the otherworldly fairy chimneys, soaring up as high as 1800 meters and dropping so low we brushed some shrubs. It was a magical, relaxing and completely unique experience, comparable only to finding yourself  inside the pages of a fairytale.


The dreamlike day continued as we returned to the Museum Hotel to find two masseuses waiting in our room. The best plan post massage seemed to be to share a bottle of champagne before floating towards supper. Here the surprises continued and we had a private supper with an incredible view over Cappadocia, throughout which we were serenaded by a violinist.

Four days was long enough to get into the swing of honeymooning, and short enough to make me very excited about the prospect of our maxi-moon still to come... is it wrong that I'm wondering whether we could stretch to a midi-moon too?!