Beyond Turkey, the Europe that seems so familiar suddenly takes one a life and character all its own. The mediaeval towns of Croatia, for example, inevitably encourage your imagination to take you back in time, whilst the farms and fields – many still worked by horses – of Armenia give you a glimpse of life in a different age. Hungary, Poland, Montenegro and the Czech Republic have their own cultures, characters and turbulent histories etched onto their streets, buildings and way of life.

Other countries, like Bosnia-Hercegovina and Romania seem to be blossoming into a new renaissance, welcoming visitors with a warmth and genuine sense of joy that is seldom rivalled by destinations more firmly fixed on the tourist trail.

And then there is Mother Russia herself. The seemingly limitless steppes. The onion domes of world-renowned Red Square. The fascinating, exhilarating nightlife of Moscow. St Petersburg’s opulent palaces and treasure houses of art and sculpture. Unmissable.