It's an early (5AM) wake up call, for today we leave Kusadasi and fly to Kayseri (via Istanbul). Kayseri is the capital of Cappadocia. Turkish Air is right on time and after a quick stop for lunch and a chance to change into exploring clothes, we begin to take in this fantastic countryside. As we drive to our hotel, we stop along the way to see formations created by the erosion of the tuff from vast volcanic deposits. The volcano looms in the distance and dominates the landscape. Each outcropping is pockmarked with cave dwellings (now abandoned due to safety). Some vistas remind us of the Grand Canyon - but on a smaller scale.
But we were not finished with our exploration. Now on to the Venessa Seramik pottery establishment. Here we saw a skilled craftsman turn a hunk of clay into a graceful wine dispenser in less than 10 minutes!
We arrive at out hotel which is carved into the hillside and has the interior of a cave. We wonder how they got the plumbing and electricity installed so flawlessly! Dinner is at a nearby terrace restaurant where we enjoy a cooked-in-a-pottery-flask stew that the maitre'd opens with a mallet. Delicious! Another early to bed night, because tomorrow we rise at 4:30AM for our hot air balloon ride.