Well, I've made it to Kapadokya. It wasn't the longest bus ride I've ever been on, but it was close.
Leaving Istanbul was the worst part. After work yesterday I met up with 2 of the 3 UM students I was going to be traveling with. We ate dinner and walked around Sariyer (northern European neighborhood of Istanbul). We call the 4th member of our party as we're walking to catch the service bus to Alibekoy. He's still at the university dorms, 15 min away. There is a bus outside the travel agency, and we go in to find out when our bus is leaving. Well, our bus pulled away as soon as we walked inside to ask. The 4th member was still MIA, but the bus was waiting 5 min down the road. Eventually, the bus left us because our friend was late. After we met up with him, we grabbed a cab to the Alibekoy bus station. Once there we waited for 45 min or so for our bus to arrive, and then we were off! I sat next a very nice lady. We didn't talk much because I fell asleep fairly soon after the bus got going. I slept the majority of the way. There were some stops along the way - just breaking points - but I stayed on the bus. I was too groggy to move.
On the bus we met some other people traveling. We're getting ready to do some hiking tours. I will post again later with pictures!