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Part 10: Days in Istanbul

Posted by Sergio Diez on August 3rd, 2008



A few words about the city. We really feel the influence of two civilizations during centuries. The museum / Basilica / mosque Saint Sofia is a symbol of that. First, Byzantine basilica and after, Ottoman mosque. It was made with the noblest materials of these times. Its construction has even put in jeopardy the finances of the prosperous Byzantine Empire. Conquered by the Ottoman in the fifteenth century, it became a mosque and all ornaments Christians were covered with plaster. To finish the rivalries and fights,in 1929, it was decided to make it a museum rather than a place of worship. The best of both eras are visible at the Christian mosaics in gold with another luxury Islamic symbols.Turkey is a secular state and his main religion is Islam. For this reason we has allowed to visit the Blue Mosque. This name cames for the mosaic that covers the interior. At the outside, we can see how the sunset change the color in a varied range of pink. Another good idea… you must go to the great bazaar and let lost inside. But attention, your portfolio must be full of money ,there are many temptations. Our lodging is in the Galata district. It is a tourist and cosmopolitan  place and it remembers of Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. We feel very comfortable there and we only have the desire to return.

Renault Mais

We met the commercial subsidiary of Renault in Turkey. Their centre is near Istanbul. Here, Renault has a market share of 17% , not less. We have shown the Challenge 2008 and Logan cars to the staff and we responded all theirs questions. Several people have asked us why we did not do the Challenge with a Laguna, more faster and comfortable … We have responded that since the beginning of the Challenge, it was decided that the Logan is the ideal car: international, accessible … At return to Istanbul, we crossed the Bosphorus. We were full of differents sensations.

The school in Istanbul

The time that we spent at school in Istanbul was very moving for us. In this school, there are about 250 Iraqi refugee childrens who are learning English, french, or another language, before find another country to live. In total, we had a car full of school supplies: notebooks, all kinds of pencils, kits, rules and even a computer with printer and a Playstation to relax that they can use at their breaks . Many thanks to Paloma, Victor, Emergya, Celine and Fabien, Angel, Juan Antonio, Vicky, Mari, Jose, Marcos. The children were so excited that they transported all the equipment from cars to the school. A few minutes later they offered us a concert they had prepared in our honour, it was very moving. Later, we were able to share drawings of children of schools ,at Vaudricourt in France, to the Istanbul pupils. Also we delivered a letter from the french pupils. This is an invitation to continue the interchange .

At Galatasarai Hammam

We have not encountered any football player at Galatasarai, but after 5000 km of road, we arrived the moment to take the famous turkish massage. After lunch, we could spend the our last evening at the exterior but we were too tired , so we decided , go to sleep. Tomorrow, on the road again, we have to arrive before 7:00 am  to take the ferry.

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Welcome to Marcassins de Vaudricourt

Posted by Antoine Derome on May 31st, 2008

The Challenge wants to give an affectionate greeting to all kids and teachers at the Marcassins of Vaudricourt School in north of France!.

This week we make a presentation to convey the objectives of the Challenge on solidarity and cooperation deal. For its part, they will make some drawings to be exchanged with many others kids in the Caritas School in Istanbul. This work is part of the project’s education and intercultural solidarity. Asia is the theme for the year 2008-2009, so the Challenge will be a good excuse for fun way of introducing the study of these countries.

The interesting thing about this project is that we are bringing together two schools, one in Istanbul with Caritas most disadvantaged and with few opportunities and secondly to Marcassins in northern France with more possibilities. This first contact will serve as seed for future mutually supportive relationship that is beneficial to both schools.

Portrait: Jean-François Boulière

Posted by Antoine Derome on March 3rd, 2008

Jean-François is a 2nd year student at ESTACA University in Paris. Taking part to the educative project of the Challenge, he is currently developping the navigation system we will use during our trip to Beijing.

This system will indeed have to guide us during 14,000 km, through 13 countries. The task demanded is completely out of the limits of the portable GPS devices we all know. Reliability, simplicity and fair cost are the main requirements we have fixed together and Jean-François took the challenge to find a solution. It is indeed a challenge, because we don’t have much time and Jean-François also has to pass his exams, which take a lot of time, especially in 2nd year.


The Challenge objectives

Posted by Antoine Derome on February 17th, 2008
Sorry, this content isn't available in English yet.

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Le Challenge, c’est quoi ?

Posted by Antoine Derome on February 16th, 2008

Comme vous n’y tenez plus et que nous ne sommes fondamentalement méchants, voici quelques informations supplémentaires sur le Challenge.
Alfred de Musset a dit : “Il n’y a point de génie sans un grain de folie.”
Le Challenge Logan Paris Pékin 2008 c’est une idée un peu folle née dans l’esprit de quelques ingénieurs du Groupe Renault qui ont sympathisé. Cette idée consiste à traverser 2 continents avec un véhicule économique et fiable pour aller à la rencontre des populations.
Plus précisément, il s’agit de réaliser durant l’été 2008 un parcours en Logan entre Paris et Pékin en suivant la Route de la Soie et en marquant des étapes dans différents sites Renault.
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