From Qena to Luxor

Certificate presentation in the morning then bus journey to Luxor.
Arrived in Luxor by bus provided by the university and taken to Shady Hotel. Left on our own for lunch so we ordered pizza. This took a really long time to arrive and our first western food for a while so it was eagerly anticipated. We met Sohaa whose mother, Magda is the leader of the Guide Association in Luxor. She escorted us to a youth centre on the East Bank to meet a group of Guides aged 14-16 who we had arranged to see for a couple of hours. We sang some songs, played some games outside and had them building towers from straws. It was a lovely opportunity to give something back to Guiding by way of an impromptu visit in another region of Egypt, we all felt a real boost from being there.
In the evening we were allowed to choose what we wanted to do so took a boat across the Nile to the West Bank, wandered around, then took a boat back. We visited Luxor Temple, for which I am struggling to find words to express how amazing it was lit up at night. It’s mind boggling to think that people have ever been able to move and carve such large rocks, particularly at the time the temple was built. Luxor temple was built by the pharaohs Armenhotep III (1380-1352 BC) and Ramses II (1279-1213). The front of the temple is the beginning of the avenue of the sphinxes that stretched for 3k to Karnak. The gates were flanked by 6 colossal statues of Ramses II. One of the original two pink granite obelisks at the front of the temple now lives in Paris. as you enter a further 17 colossal statues of Ramses II sons greet you.
Dinner was kushari and before we went back to the hotel we visited the souq for a spot of shopping with Esma and Sohaa to haggle for us. The traders were much politer than you would imagine and wanted to chat to us as much as they wanted to sell their wares. Maybe the pink t-shirts made the difference!

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