- Fez, Morocco
- A Gentleman gets lost in the Medina solely to discover new life experiences and then to discover a way to get back home
- Make a concerted effort to find new friends and be invited to lunch at a local’s home
- Learn how to make tea and appreciate the stories that are told over a hot cup (or five) during any social situation
- Discover how leather is made and purchase a fine new briefcase – make sure not to get hassled – and also check out the rugs if you are in the market
- Take a Moroccan cooking class – after all a lady always appreciates a man that can cook
- Check out the madrasas, the city gates and a hammam or two if time allows
- Visit the Royal Palace of Fez which is a must for gentlemen photographers
- Trek to Marrakech’s Djamaa El-Fna square at night to fill up on street food – particularly snails
The best stories a gentleman has after visiting the Moroccan city of Fez typically are a result of becoming lost in the medina and stumbling across a new experience. Medinas are a maze of narrow, winding streets, characteristically walled in and commonplace in North African cities. Therefore, once you arrive at your guesthouse walk out the front door and start taking a random path to something new. You will quickly gain an appreciation for why some medinas historically have been used as a battle tactic to slow down and confuse invading armies.
On your journey make friends with the residents of the city. If you are lucky, you will be invited to lunch in a local’s home. Eating is essentially a social ritual in Morocco and Moroccan’s will share meals at home demonstrating their social status and pride. The meal will consist of everything from lamb, to poached egg, bread, olives and a host of deliciously flavored food cooked in a tagine.
Where the women are typically the ones to prepare food, tea remains a man’s affair in this country and is a form of art. Be prepared to drink it at all times of the day since it will be a show of hospitality by your host. If the opportunity presents itself, try to learn the special technique in making a cup.
Venture back into the medina and discover large leather tanneries that are a significant part of the local economy and pick up a new bag to take back to the office (and forget the fact that the leather is so soft and supple because pigeon feces were used to get it that way). If your new Moroccan friends are still with you they can potentially get you a better deal on the purchase – even though they will still get a kickback too. The same goes for finding a local pottery factory or Moroccan rug outlet and purchasing a few items.
While in Fez, take the time to enroll into a culinary course and learn how to cook like a true Moroccan. After all, a lady always appreciates a man who can cook for her and an exotic dish makes that all the better. Be sure to check out the various madrasas, city gates, hammams and other local structures that allude to the significant history of the city. This is especially true for the Royal Palace of Fez which lends itself as a great photo opportunity to the gentleman photog. No need to spend a lot of time there but it is worth seeing it once in your lifetime.
Finally, take the train to Marrakech and explore yet another medina, but beware that motorbikes are allowed there and come up on you fast. At night visit Djamaa El-Fna square that will be covered with a haze of smoke from the street food where you should pull up a stool to a snail stand and enjoy the savory little creatures.