A road trip to Kayseri

We set off on the bus line Ankara-Kayseri, in one of those luxury coaches having only three passenger seats in a row. Since my childhood, I have had the excitement of wondering what the companion sitting next to me on the coach will be like, while I have always learned about my destination beforehand. In a few moments, the turnboy would start serving tea and coffee, and I and my companion sitting next to me – she looked like a university student – would open the seat back tray in front of us to welcome the tea.

A moment later I heard an announcement telling us that we were approaching Kayseri. Kayseri, a large city in Central Anatolia, Turkey. The city’s population was 1377000 in 2018. The city is often cited in the first ranks among Turkey’s cities that fit the definition of Anatolian Tigers. In older times called Mazaka, Kaisareia, Kaysariya andKayseriye is the place where you can discover the footprints of the Assyrians, the Hittites, the Phrygians, the Persians, the traces of Cappadocia, Rome and Byzantium, of the Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations. One of these traces is the first trade treaty written in cuneiform script found in the ruins of Kültepe-Karum four years ago proving the significance of Kayseri for the history of humankind.

We got off at the coach station, and after finding the hotel where I left my luggage, I saw myself eating a meal: It was Kayseri’s well-known ravioli in yogurt, the local kind of ham called pastırma, sucuk, oily pastry and baked pudding with molasses – without these typical varieties of Kayserian food something would have been missing. I ate with appetite each of them, and tomorrow I would go to Mount Erciyes with my friend: entertainment, skiing, chatting, everything one longs for…

Kayseri is located at the foot of the extinct volcano Mount Erciyes. Erciyes, located at the heart of Kayseri, the summit that drills the clouds rising up to 3916 meters, is an extinct volcano never missing snow, triggering spiritual thoughts in humans through its grandness. Spreading ash, wind, lava, its power had an impact on the surrounding areas creating the unique geography of Cappadocia with Mount Hasan and the intriguing fairy chimneys. It is quite easy to arrive at Mount Erciyes. Starting from Republic Square in the city center, it is a 20-minute ride to be there since the roads are wide and do not resemble expectable serpentines. The hotels located in the area are comfortable but simple. Wide slopes invite the amateurs of winter sports to the enjoyment of skiing, sledding, and snowboarding. Doing these activities using the ski lift is something you will never get tired of. The summit, located between other peaks, dressed up like a bride in beauty, removes all tiredness, makes you reflect, meditate and experience distinct thoughts you have never had. After this trip, even if short, full of enjoyment, I hope to be on another route without waiting too long a time…


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