While Vincent and Julien drive Shahzadi through Iran towards Turkey, We (Salman and Haroon) arrived in Istanbul yesterday (i.e. 17.11.2009) due to administrative reasons. The streets of Istanbul smell of history which goes back a few thousand years. A local on the street told us today that anything less then a thousand years is not considered old in Istanbul. From the most beautiful mosques and museums to quaint streets and beautiful street side diners and cafes; being here feels like one is reliving the dynasty of the various empires which have ruled the world from Istanbul. Istanbul - which also lies at the edge of Asia Minor is the city where the silk route ends. This is especially significant for the Art on Wheels tour as Shahzadi is driving through parts of the silk route on its journey to Paris.
While being a secular state; the most majestic sound that echoes on the streets of Istanbul is the call for prayer - five times a day from mosques like the Blue Mosque - the architecture of which is as unique as it gets. Until next time - Güle güle (English: Good Bye).