Well, I'm back safe and well, but suffering withdrawal symptoms already!!
I started off by staying on the West Bank in the El Mesala hotel. It was far better than I expected and I had a lovely stay there. I travelled around using the service buses and the public ferry. This was a good way to meet people and I had some very interesting conversations!
I had no problems being alone, everyone on the WB was very kind and helpful and a couple of times they even refused to take my fare on the buses!
The WB is very relaxing compared to the hustle and bustle of Luxor and I was never worried even when walking down dusty village roads by myself.
I then went to Cairo and stayed overnight, visiting Dashur and Saqqara on day 1 then Giza on day 2.
I had a brilliant guide who collected me at the airport and took me out to Dashur first. I went inside three pyramids, which half killed me due to having to grip onto the handrails! I had a truly wonderful day and looking back I can't believe how much I saw, the Serapeum, the tombs of Mereruka, Kagemeni, Ptahotep and Akethotep, the Step, Bent, Red and Teti pyramids, then inside Khafre's and the tomb of Meresankh, finishing off with the Sphinx.
The only trouble I saw was on the approach to the Mena House hotel. As we drove to the gate a group of men were in the middle of the road and they stopped the car. They began banging on it and shouting. The guide told me that they were illegal camel drivers who wanted people to ride their camels! I know then that I'd made the right decision to have the guide for the next day at Giza, even though the pyramids are on the doorstep. The hassle there is bad. The hotel was lovely and I did the tour of the Montgomery and Churchill which was directly opposite the Great Pyramid!
I returned to Luxor and the WB, where it is so peaceful compared to EB, I then got a last minute cruise down to Aswan. This was really good as it was only for three nights. The boat was full of Egyptian families and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I was a bit of a novelty as all the children were wanting to practice their English on me! It got a bit surreal when I guided a family around Philae - a place they'd never visited!
Aswan was, as usual, lovely, and people actually stopped me to welcome and thank me for visiting Egypt. They all asked what the outside world thought about what was happening in their country. I visited the the WB tombs again and watched the sun go down from the terrace of the Old Cataract hotel. They even gave me a tour of the Agatha Christie suite, amazing!
I returned back to Luxor, staying at the Sonesta. I noticed that the state of the horses was much improved and they were being fed as well. The hassle was, at first, what I had expected. However, on the Monday and Tuesday after the anniversary of the revolution it suddenly changed. A number of ladies were discussing in the hotel about sexual harassment and then I actually experienced it myself and it was nasty too. I spoke to a lady who was extremely distressed as lads on a motorbike had snatched her camera from her hand. She visits regularly three or four times a year but I doubt that she will be back, as she was shaking even recounting her story.
I finished my trip on my last morning by visiting the Winter Palace for a drink so that I had succeeded in my personal challenge of visiting all three of the old hotels in Egypt.
Despite these incidents I really enjoyed my trip, which was more like an adventure as I got to see so many places. I am already planning my next trip (in my head!), hoping that the situation doesn't deteriorate any further.
I met some wonderful people and have amazing memories of a brilliant trip so many thanks to all who gave me recommendations, they were absolutely spot on!