This summer Mr. Monroe visits Morocco and explores all this beautiful country has to offer. This is your guide on how to travel in style.
One of the most important aspects of Moroccan culture is family, both immediate and distant relatives spending a lot of time together during special occasions and throughout the rest of the year. The thing that brings everyone together is food, In my opinion the second most valued part of their culture. With the absence of alcohol food becomes the focus of entertaining guests. Traditionally when hosting a dinner party the women of the family will prepare a large meal, usually consisting of several courses.
Once everyone has washed their hands and taken their seats around the table, men on one side and women on the other, dinner can commence. Starting with a sweet Moroccan mint tea accompanied by a selection of handmade sweet and savoury biscuits one more intricate than the other. Next comes salad and rice followed by the main course on one large tray, but don't expect cutlery as this dish is traditionally served with bread and eaten with your hands.
Another treasure of this country is its exotic fruit, no need to look far as along the side of the roads there are endless stalls overflowing with fresh fruit in a rainbow of enticing colours. If you try just one of these, the cactus fruit should be the one you choose. Pull back the skin to reveal a stringy mango consistency dripping in a delicious juice that tastes like a cross between watermelon and pear. Referred to, by the locals, as nature's bubblegum.
When in Marrakech there are two essential places you must visit to really get the full cultural experience, the Medina (Market) being the most fascinating. Named Jemaa el-Fnaa, this market is one of the best-known squares in Africa and is the centre of this city’s activity and trade. It has been described as "A bridge between the past and the present, the place where Moroccan tradition encounters modernity”.
Whether simply going to visit or with the intention of filling your suitcase with souvenirs it's advisable to go with someone who knows the area well. As a tourist amidst the dizzying number of stalls and shops, ranging from tiny kiosks to scruffy store-fronts that morph into glittering Aladdin's Caves once you're inside, it is easy to get lost and overwhelmed by the honeycomb of intricately connected alleyways. Prepare yourself for sensory overload as you are sure to see everything from snake charmers to musicians and acrobats through the smells and sounds of the bustling square.
Avoid venturing out during the midday sun as it can get extremely hot reaching temperatures of over 45 degrees in the height of summer, even the locals tend to stay indoors so you will find that after the sun goes down the city comes alive.
Another attraction to see is Le Jardin Majorelle, the two and half acre botanical and artist's landscape garden. It was created by French artist, Jacques Majorelle in 1923 this paradise features a Cubist villa designed by French architect, Paul Sinoir painted in the infamous and radiant Majorelle Blue. The garden and villa were rediscovered in the 1980’s by fashion designers, Yves Saint-Laurent who set about restoring it and saving it. The complex is open to the public and houses the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech, the Berber Museum and has recently opened the Musee Yves Saint Laurent.
This makes for a great day out full of history and sights you are sure not to forget in a hurry. The winding wooden paths shaded by the towering palm trees and enormous cacti that cover the garden give you a much needed break from the scorching sun. once you have walked around and visited the museums there is nothing like a cup of that famous mint tea to end the day.
No matter where you are traveling it's important to look after your skin and with Monroe of London’s dual purpose skincare range it's easy to do this. The first step to every well rounded skincare routine is a thorough cleanse, our Cleanse & Shave Solution does exactly this whether also using it to shave or not. Most importantly it is vital to protect your skin from harmful sun damage especially when in a hot country such as Morocco, our Moisturiser & Shave Balm will do this while keeping your skin smooth. Finally for a cooling boost that protects your skin from the elements, our Hydro Spray is what you need, use throughout the day to stay refreshed.