I have no idea how I'm going to catch up blogging. I want to write about Paris and Istanbul even though I've been back from Poland too. And I have yet to upload photos from Istanbul to facebook.
I found that in Istanbul, you can judge how touristy a place is by two factors: the quality of its bathroom and the admission price.
Best bathroom: Topkapi Palace gift shop. The best part was that it's in the gift shop. since it's not inside the palace, you can go without buying a 20 lira ($13 or 10 euro) admission ticket.
My couchsurfing host and I went to a kebab shop on a side street off Istikal Avenue which had a squat toilet. This didn't surprise me since it was an entirely non-touristy kebab shop.
I was surprised by the squat toilet at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum because I thought it was popular tourist spot. Well, after going to the museum, I realized it wasn't THAT popular... Or maybe I didn't find the one for tourists in the exhibition wings. This was in building which has the museum's offices.
Topkapi Palace: 20 lira. (I didn't go.)
Hagia Sophia: 20 lira. (It's now a museum, not a place of worship, so they charge substantial admission.)
Istanbul Archaeology Museum: 10 lira.
Oh in Turkey they don't do student discounts either.
Oh yes, some photos of things I had only seen in photos before going on this amazing trip:
The famous Deesis mosaic in Hagia Sophia
women and some gawking tourists.