My wife and I were traveling in Spain last summer, and had planned to take the ferry across from Tarifa to Tangier. We were excited to see this city rich in culture and history, and decided to find a private guide to show us around. What really drew me to Ahmed was that, in review after review, people commented that Ahmed did not herd them to merchants (where they of course get a piece of the action) but that he genuinely loves his city and his country, and focuses instead on history, landmarks, and other points of interest.
Well, my sister-in-law decided to make an unscheduled stop at the beach when we got to Tangier (she lives in Denver; her eyes roll up into her head when she gets near a real beach) and we ended up missing our ferry, putting us an hour behind. We tried calling Ahmed, but the cell phones my brother and sister-in-law had brought along apparently could not call numbers in Morocco. We really didn't expect to find Ahmed when we got there. Boy, were we wrong. As we got off the ferry, and the other guides jostled for business, we simply told one of them we were looking for Ahmed. He said, "oh, he is a friend of mine, I will call him for you." Turns out Ahmed had suspected we were delayed, and was waiting for us all along in the terminal building. As we found out, everyone in Tangier knows Ahmed!
With only about 5 hours to see the city, Ahmed loaded us into an air conditioned van with driver, and proceeded to take us on a fascinating, information-packed driving tour of the city. He patiently answered our many questions, and we managed to see the major sights, and then embarked on a walking tour through the Medina and Kasbah.
When we told Ahmed we would love to sample Moroccan cuisine before we headed back to Spain that night, he mentioned that the restaurants were closed, but he would see what he could do. He started calling friends, and before you know it, he actually got a restaurant to open for us! It was the like "The Amazing Race" - we were the only people there. What he promised would be "a few tastes" (we were expecting appetizers) for no more than ten Euros per person, ended up being a sumptuous five-course meal - one of the best we have ever had in our lives.
If you go to Tangier - you owe it to yourself to meet Ahmed. You will have an experience you will never forget. We spent almost 4 weeks traveling through Europe, and the four of us agreed that our half day in Tangier was the absolute highlight of the trip.