Day trip to Pammukale, first stopping by Red water hot spring, a hot spring frequented by locals.
Ruins of Hierapolis
Swimming in the ruins
Pammukkale, aka Cotton Castle!! A natural wonder!
Another day-trip out of Izmir, to Ephasus, one of the Ancient Wonders.
However, first stopping by St John's Basilica.
And Mary's House.
And the really grand ruins of Ephesus!
And some of the food we had in Izmir.
After 4 days of stay in Izmir, we packed up and readied to proceed to our next stop, Cappadocia. Having seen all the amazing pictures of Cappadocia's landscape, we were naturally excited to finally go there!
On the eve of departure and after checking out of our nice hotel in Izmir, we proceeded to Izmir's airport hotel for the night as our flight the next day was at an early 0715am! Also, as there were very limited non-stop flights between Izmir and Kayseri, there were no other flight timings available, unless we want to go through the hassle of transiting at Istanbul. For this sector, I booked us on Pegasus Airlines, one of the only 2 airlines flying between Izmir and Kayseri (the other being SunExpress) and with less than daily flights for each airline. Pegasus Airlines is currently Turkey's largest budget airline, and though of a smaller fleet and traffic than TK, is also expanding rather fast and has big ambitions as well for the future. Ticket was only a low 41euros Advantage fare inclusive of 20kg luggage, sandwich with drink and seat selection, all for just 6 euros over the standard package inclusive of just 15kg luggage. Well worth it I think since our luggage would have busted the 15kg allowance each.
ADB's Orty Airport Hotel, offering small but comfortable rooms at very reasonable prices for a night's sleep. They also offer free shuttle to the airport terminal in the morning, saving us 10min walk with luggage.
Checking in early the next morning 1hr prior to the flight at 615am at the new Domestic Terminal. Common check-in queue for Pegasus flights was pretty long but moved rather fast due to the many counters opened. We only waited less than 10min even though we were in a winding queue.
Beautiful architecture within the new Domestic Terminal.
Departures board and queue for security screening. Queue was long but moved fast.
My Pegasus boarding pass, which was printed on a proper boarding card.
The sparkling new departure lounge after security.
FIDS. Look at the number of flights to Istanbul Ataturk and Sabiha airports! I counted 15 flights between 0625am and 10am!
Our boarding gate today. Aircraft had not arrived yet.
Turkish, SunExpress and Pegasus B738s together in one shot.
Our aircraft arriving and taxiing in.
After a short turnaround, boarding started and we proceeded down the gangway.
19 August 2014 Pegasus Airlines PC 2418 Izmir (ADB) - Kayseri (ASR) B737-800 TC-IZG Economy Class
Our aircraft was going to be TC-IZG, which was delivered just a year ago to Pegasus Airlines, and based in Izmir to be operated by IzAir but in Pegasus colours and code. Initially I was expecting a brand new BSI cabin in this aircraft.
Entering the aircraft.
However, upon stepping into the aircraft, it was evident that this aircraft was a hand-me-down Ex-Ryanair aircraft with its signature unreclinable seats and, yellow seatbacks and pasted seatback safety instructions stickers. Kinda disappointed of not getting a normal Pegasus aircraft but no worries, it was gonna be only a short flight.
Seat pitch was the usual LCC standards and safety instructios were staring in your face. No inflight magazines, trash bags or BOB menu cards since there were no seat pockets at all!
At the gate. Boarding was completed slightly after STD but as our flight time was well padded, the slight delay in departure still allowed us to arrive early. Flight time was a short 1hr15m. Luckily, we again had an empty seat between us even though the aircraft was rather full.
Pushback with safety demo shown manually. On normal Pegasus aircraft, drop-down video screens would be showing children-presented Pegasus safety video, but nope on our flight.
Taxiing to runway.
A look at Izmir Airport. Quite a number of international flights at this time parked at the International Terminal, alike during my arrival when it was almost totally empty.
Taxied to Rwy34R.
And takeoff, bound for Kayseri.
See our shadow!
Climbing out of ADB towards Izmir city.
Overflying the city centre and coastal area.
Making a right turn inland, heading towards Kayseri.
View of the climb and cabin.
Our fare bundle included a sandwich and a drink. Our pre-ordered sandwiches were delivered to us shortly after the seatbelt signs were turned off.
I had ordered a cheese and vegetables wrap. It, again, had an acquired taste. Probably more suited to the Turkish taste buds. However, it was filling.
My partner had the chicken sandwich. The sandwich was huge, but a tad dry.
Drink orders were also taken. We were offered either a hot or cold drink each. I had an orange juice while my partner chose the coffee. Both were promptly delivered from the galley. A few passengers had also pre-ordered main meals but unfortunately, my fare package only allowed sandwiches with no options for choosing main meals. However, one is able to pre-order main meals if booking only the basic fare. Service by the crew was the standard LCC style. Deliver the pre-ordered food, sales of food/drinks, and disappearing for the rest of the flight till pre-landing preparations.
Cruising over Turkey.
View of the Ryanair-styled cabin.
Soon we were standing our descent into Kayseri.
Flying pass a lake.
Making turns during the descent.
Buildings suddenly appeared while descending over what I though was barren land.
Starting to see more greenery nearing touchdown.
And touchdown on Rwy25, more than 10min ahead of schedule.
Video of our landing into Kayseri.
Just a short taxi to our parking stand before we were parked.
Disembarking from the front and the rear.
Hmm, tailfin looked in need of some tender loving care.
We disembarked from the rear. Time for photo snapping again.
Walking along the tarmac and under the wing! Again nobody cared about passengers on the tarmac posing with the aircraft and taking pictures.
So our plane is named Karya Damla. Paint is peeling off from the nose too.
We had a long walk along the tarmac to the domestic arrival hall. Another Pegasus flight, which was delayed, had just arrived from Istanbul (and this resulted in a crazy crowd at baggage claim later).
Anadolujet, the low-cost arm of Turkish Airlines. Also operating B738s.
And finally a TK A320. It was a busy morning at Kayseri!
Arrival monitor. Not sure why our flight's originating port was not displayed when on the FIDS.
Waiting for our luggage, which turned into a crazy mess later on when the Istanbul pax arrived. 2 flights' baggage were coming out from this one belt, with the other belt not operational. We also ad a rather long wait for bags as apparently the Istanbul bags came out first.
After collecting our bags, we took the pre-arranged shuttle to our cave hotel in Goreme, which was almost a 1.5hr drive away. We stayed at a family-run Aydinli Cave Hotel, which offered a very unique and homely experience of cave-living. Not the most luxurious room and amenities, but it is definitely a stay to remember for the great service and wonderful views.
İzmir - ADB
Kayseri - ASR
Impression of Pegasus Airlines, a standard budget airline offering value-for-money products for fares paid. However, the low-cost-ness of the airline was amplified on this flight with the use of this ex-Ryanair plane, which might not be an accurate reflection of Pegasus Airlines in general.
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