Arrived in Kayseri, Turkey last night after a looooong day making my way from Manchester via Istanbul. I've never been so happy to see Maria's little face ;-) I didn't see any of the city last night because it was about 2:30 am by the time we arrived at the hotel, so it was such a pleasant surprise to wake up this morning and see the sunshine and desert....and a very large city, out my window. I didn't realize the Kayseri is a city of just about a million residents. In many ways, it reminds me of a cross between Brasilia and Phoenix. I love the desert landscape and the hot, dry air. The green of England and Wales is so pretty, but you are constantly reminded of why it looks so green and pretty! Here the earth is a beautiful parched brown color and the sky bright blue.
The free accommodation is amazing! I had heard it called a hostel, but this is nothing like any hostel I've ever stayed in. The rooms are lovely and clean (I got a room with 6 beds in it....I can have a new one every night if I want) and it is situated in a quiet part of town with a view straight to launch about 20 minutes or so up the mountain. There's a nice little lounge downstairs and a kitchen for us to use and the wifi is fantastically fast and reliable.
I hear that they can house about 70 pilots here. Most of the rooms are dormitory style with 5 or 6 beds (like the picture) - perfect, if you ask me, for national teams to stay together. There are also several regular hotel style rooms with just a double bed. Maria and I have those for the rest of the week and feel a bit like princesses.
As soon as registration is finished, we'll head out for dinner and check out the restaurants and endulge in a bit of baklava!