When hearing about Istanbul I used a picture some oriental metropolis, bathed in golden light and in a palette of warm earthy tones. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The mood was much more cold and discreet. I was imagining palaces covered in gold to the point of being rather tacky and ended up being amazed by the refinement of the Topkapi Palace: walls like geometric marble marquetry, in subtle half-tones, with gold touches used wisely. The slav influence is also surprisingly strong, with fragile pastels and wooden houses scattered here and there. The city is built on seven hills – like Rome – which means a scenic view is always around the corner.________ The average temperature in March is 7 degrees Celsius. There’s actually snow in winter, I believe it must look incredible, despite being probably quite a challenge in all those steep streets! The Topkapi Palace was the primary residency of the Ottoman sultans for around 400 years, it’s a bigger than life group of buildings and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.