We still couldn't believe it that we were actually in Istanbul, some place so exotic. But truly we were in Istanbul because where in the world would the shop windows display Turkish Delight. It was truly a delightful feeling as we strolled and were on our way to Eminonu, the water front and the Galata bridge. Mosques and minarets dot the whole skyline. They were usually massive mosques and they were every where. A lot of the old Byzantine churches has been converted to mosques and are still being used as mosques. The Haghia Eirene, a smaller version of the Haghia Sophia is closed and used only for concerts and special events. Other than in the Fener district where the Patriachate of the Orthodox church is, there is no church services anywhere else. The other church, St Saviour at the Chora is now a museum that houses the icons and frescoes of the Byzantine church. This is a very beautiful place and very special and my favorite which we will visit later. The only other place where Byzantine churches are found in abundance is in Cappadocia which we will visit much much later. I left my heart in Cappadocia and you will find out why later. Even with the abundance of old Byzantine churches in Cappadocia, there is no active church there. That is the sad state of the church in Turkey. Turkey is dubbed 'the other Holy land'. It's biblical sites are visited by a constant stream of christians from all over the world. It is very heartening to see it.