So what was I saying about "nothing else to report"? Duhhh! I was just thinking of settling down for the evening when there was the sound of a procession or something down in the main street. "Should I dash down with the camera?" "No, because by the time I hobble down the stairs and out onto the main thoroughfare; they'll have passed by." Pretty obvious, really!
But, the noise didn't go away; in fact, it got even louder as if more people were joining in. I put my shirt back on, then swapped my Christmas slippers for my £4.99 pretend "Crocs", picked up the trusty Samsung and trundled down the stairs. Yes, you've guessed it; they were gone! I had a word with the neighbours, who suggested that I take my camera down to Abu Haggag Square, where there were thousands gathered, and having a great time.
We keep getting lots and lots of text messages from Vodafone (in Arabic) which are about as much use as the regular updates that we get via email from the British Embassy! The Queen's representatives are, of course, in Cairo. Luxor is some 400 miles, or so, South of the capitol and is a completely different environment. The place is tiny in comparison, much less cosmopolitan, more backward (not trying to sound offensive here, but you know what I mean!) but the people are much less antagonistic towards anyone else, either politically or for religious reasons. It's as simple as that, really!
Nevertheless, I am mindful of the Consular warnings from the Embassy; in particular that we should stay clear of any crowds or demonstrations of any type, as they can change very quickly into places of danger. (I've always thought that this is a nonsense here in Luxor, but more and more ex-pats living here seem to be more wary than they ever were previously, and are quick to write up their fears on the Internet. It does make one think!) I hung around downstairs for a while, it was obvious that most of the people were in 'party mood':
I had thought........but then I decided that I would chicken-out, and not go. Surely these pics would suffice? That's the sort of Braveheart I am, you see? A wimp, in fact! I trudged, dejectedly, up the 83 stairs to my place of safety. But, by the time I got to the top; I'd had a brainwave (yes Dear Reader, that's two so far this year, and it's still only January!) I would ring for Ahmed to come and take me in the caleche, what a good idea, splendid!
Ahmed duly arrived, and after greeting everyone around, off we went. Of course by the time we got there, all the excitement at Abu Haggag was over, there were only the normal crowds of families sitting about and children playing. There were more than usual, I suppose, but nothing really worth photographing. Ahmed suggested riding along the Nile, in the hope that we might yet come across some revellers who hadn't gone home.
As we passed the Temple, we could see that the Corniche was closed off by the Police, and beyond (in the distance) there was obviously something going off! We managed to blag our way past the Police Officer's barrier by saying that I needed to be at the Eatabe Hotel. What a sight was waiting for us as we approached the Governorate Building: