• Koula, 94.7 presenter and F&HE blogger, is loving all things food-related in her travels through Turkey, Greece, Italy and Israel…

    Thursday 30 August

    We spent our day off in our tour bus, making the long trip from Kusadasi (which I loved!) to Assos (which I’ve only seen by night so far but also looks beautiful – another coastal town). We broke the trip in Izmir, as our photographer grew up there and wanted to spend some time in the city again. Such a cosmopolitan place! I was amazed! We sipped on coffee, overlooking the beautiful shore. And we were in luck, as the locals were celebrating Victory Day, so there was a huge celebration in the city centre: Turkish flags wherever you looked, loud live music and a very festive atmosphere. I’ve realised by now that Turkish people are very proud of their flag. You see it displayed everywhere (and not just on Victory Day): on every hill-top, in stores, outside buildings, above pavements – proudly billowing in red and white. And no matter which town you drive through, there are colourful flowers decorating the well-maintained street islands and kerbs. No monochromatic schemes here. Vivid pinks, reds, yellows… You name it, you’ll see it. Being a person who loves the idea of ‘the brighter, the better’, their flamboyance resonates strongly with me.

    One of the ‘highlights’ of our day was when a ‘Teknobus’ overtook us on the highway and drove in front of us for a few kilometres. These Teknobuses are luxurious Turkish buses that do long distance trips across the country. They offer their passengers free Wi-Fi so we decided to try our luck and see if we could ‘enjoy’ some of their free services from our vehicle. There was great excitement when our phones all started pinging as emails flooded through. Sad but true! You know you’re a tourist when… right?!

    By Serdar Yilgoren