Friday, July 9, 2010

Travels: Measures of Tourist-itude

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

Alexander the Great, first guy on the left, though not the guy in this sarcophagus.

Very sad women and some gawking tourists.

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