Travel Day – Istanbul to Göreme

Travel Day – Istanbul to Göreme

Our flight to Kayseri was scheduled to depart at 6PM. This allowed us to sleep in and pack at a leisurely pace. It took us 45 minutes to walk from the apartment to the airport bus stop – it was hot especially with a 20lb pack on our backs. Yes, we could have taken the tram for part of the way, but let’s face it, we’re too cheap.

In the 2 1/2 weeks we’ve been in Istanbul, the ticket price went from 25TL to 30TL per person. A taxis was willing to charge us 50TL to get us to the airport. However, being the skeptical NYers, we felt when something is too good to be true, it probably is.

The trip took an hour. Once there, we had to show our reservations to get into the terminal (make sure you have it printed or available on your phone), and then through security screening before heading to the ticket counter.

The new Istanbul Airport opened in 2019

It took about 20 minutes from the time we got off the bus to the time we got our tickets. After another round of security screening we were off to the lounge.

Unlike LAX, all stores are open
But the crowd is equally as thin in certain parts of the airport
Some installations in the terminal
LAX could have cleaned their lounge regularly like in Turkey, instead of just shutting it down.
Lunch at the lounge. Finally got to try raki, which is similar in taste to Greek ouzo.
Joe even got a free back massage in the lounge.

Our hour flight was a full house, with a very well behaved little baby super spreader seated in front of us.

One of my interests is to pore over maps, so instead of watching inflight movies, I like to study the flight map. As I was moving the map around, I noticed something quite interesting. I could not find Armenia.

A little bit of background. Turkey and Armenia have a history dating back to WW1, involving mass numbers of Armenians dying during their exile from Turkey. The West called it genocide, however, Turks are very sensitive about calling it such.

Armenia is approximately within the red border. However, there are no country or city names listed. You see neighboring Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey with their respective city names.
So I zoomed in to see if the city names would pop up. No luck.
Then I zoomed out to see if the country name would show up. You see Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, but no Armenia (should be where the red arrow is)!

I can’t even begin to guess why an entire country is missing on the map. Did some IT guy goof while writing the software, or was this by design? This is certainly curious.

After an hour ride from the airport, we finally checked into our hotel in Cappadocia.

A 12-room boutique hotel
Our stone room
Sitting area
Bathroom brighter and more spacious than the one in Istanbul
Area outside the room

So far we haven’t been able to see much since it’s dark. Will have to wait for tomorrow morning…

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