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Carrie Carrie | 12:37 UK time, Saturday, 3 April 2010

Hi everyone,

Those of you with good memories will remember the photo quiz I posted back at the end of November last year. Almost everyone correctly guessed that the second photo was taken in Cairo, Egypt. In fact it was the left ear of the Sphinx:


Last November, I was lucky enough to travel to Cairo to attend the Cairo Media Festival...and at the same time to realise a dream of mine. Now you may think my dream was to see the Great Pyramid, or the Sphinx


or to see the Citadel


or to visit the market.....

View image
A lamp shop in the market

.....well I was lucky enough to do all those things, but really, my dream was to visit Alexandria, north of Cairo. Now, Alexandria is famous for many things. It was the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the lighthouse, that is believed to have stood at the entrance to the harbour, not far from here:


It was built about 280 BC and was destroyed by an earthquake around 1,600 years later.

Alexandria was also the site of a huge library founded around the same time as the lighthouse was built. At one stage, Alexandria was known as the greatest centre of learning in the Ancient World and the library aimed to hold a copy of every book ever written. Like the lighthouse, the ancient library no longer exists, but Alexandria now has a brand new library:


However, this was not the reason I wanted to come to Alexandria. You may remember that I've written about my grandfather before. He was a mechanic with the Royal Flying Corps in the World War I. The mechanics didn't actually fly the planes - so when he was sent to Egypt, he travelled by ship. He never actually reached Egypt though, because as the ship he was on entered Alexandria harbour, it hit a mine and my grandfather was drowned. Although he has no grave, his name is on a memorial in the military cemetery in Alexandria: his wife and children never knew this, and I only found out a few years ago. Ever since, I have wanted to go and see the memorial. So, one Saturday in November, we set out by car to travel from Cairo to Alexandria. Our first stop was the beautiful library, where we helped with a BBC debate on Charles Darwin (you see, we even have to work on Saturdays ;-) ). But after that, we set off in search on the military cemetery. After making several wrong turns, we finally found the military cemetery, tucked away in a whole area of cemeteries, not far from the harbour. The cemetery is beautifully kept: the graves stand in long straight lines and in between the grass is kept tidy and there are flowers.


Right at the back of the cemetery, I found the memorial and my grandfather's name. The inscription read:

"All of whom have no other grave than the sea: He discovereth deep things out of darkness and bringeth out to light the shadow of death" (from the Bible: Job 12 verse 22)

As it was close to Remembrance Sunday I had brought a poppy cross to leave by the memorial. I felt very privileged to be there and very proud.


I have a whole list of dream places to visit and I am slowly ticking them off. Next on my list is the ancient city of Petra. Do you have a dream place you would like to visit?

Take care


to realise a dream : to make a dream come true
at one stage: once; at some time
to aim: to plan to make something happen or to achieve something
to find out: to discover
to make/take a wrong turn: to go the wrong way; to turn down the wrong road
to tick something off a list: to mark a list to show that something has been done


  • Comment number 1.

    hallo carrie,
    thats wonderful place.yes i have a dream to around the world.but i never out from java island.i still here with my dream.nice to know you.thanks

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi, Carrie.

    I wonder, how did you find out that there was this memorial with your grandfather's name? Did you some research or did it happen by chance?


  • Comment number 3.

    Dear Carrie,

    Egypt is the land of mysteries attracting a lot of people to visit and discover. Your trip was fantastic and meaningful because you visited wonderful places and particularly found the memorial where your grandfather was lying. I dream of being in Egypt to find out one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Carrie,
    Wow! It is wonderful to know some aspects of history in Egypt. I have never been to Egypt and therefore, not familiar with historical events in Egypt. But reading your message gave me some insight into the history of Egypt and would like find out more about it. I have also heard that Egypt is a beautiful place and it is worth visiting. But unfortunately due to my busy work schedule and family life I have never got the chance visit Egypt. In fact I have never been away to other countries. This is the reason why I like reading about other countries’ histories. The modern Library building looks amazing, it is an unusual building. I wish the ancient library building was still there.
    I am also wondering what your feelings were when you saw your grandfather’s name on a memorial. I think it must have been the greatest moment of your life. Would you kindly tell us about your family reaction to the news that your grandfather’s name present there especially when you don’t have his grave to visit.
    For me the list of places to visit is long but I will mention a few here. If the time permits I would first like to visit some countries in Europe for example, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Switzerland and Turkey. I would also like to visit USA, Australia, Canada and some places in Middle-East (Dubai and Egypt). Enjoy your Easter Weeken.

    Take care,


  • Comment number 5.

    Greetings Carrie
    I like your subjects and your way of writting.I find a kind of connection between this post and the privious one - A rose by any other name.....Names and their significance.I opened the Bible to read this woderful verse of Job which is written in my old language Hebrew.
    Several years ago I visited Petra.It is realy amaizing place and I'm sure you'll like it and the story of the Nabataeans people.
    My dream place to visit is out of our earth....the space.Will it become a reality?I doubt

  • Comment number 6.

    Hello Carrie! It´s really nice to hear from you again!
    The place I dream to visit is the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton. This house was the place where Jane Austen passed her last years, so I think the museum is a great place to know more about Jane´s life and about the creation process of her novels.
    Best wishes,
    Ana Paula.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Carrie,
    I was also very excited to see your grandfather's surname on the grave. I can imagine how proud you must have felt visiting that place.
    About fulfilling my dreams....well, I would like to visit some places such as Paris and London (especially the BBC LE staff and get to know all of you in person) but the special place I would like to see is when my father was born (Aleppo-Syria).
    Have a great day and keep blogging!
    Cris (BA-Argentina)

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi dear Carrie ,
    Thank you for carrying on the good job of sharing your nice travel memories .They all are so interesting ! You were so lucky to visit EGYPT and your grandfather memoriela . I 'm waiting for your next Blog . and sorry for not puting more comment on you and others . You know it 's to difficults to us to access BBC from my country . Hope to improve the situation ....
    Have fun and bye
    Pary from Iran

  • Comment number 9.

    It's beautiful^^

  • Comment number 10.

    HI Carrie! There is not a pupe or a thing from my childhood yet, but the memory on the presence of my grandfather in a house whenever when I am looking back to plunge in to the times when life was happy and safe for me. So, I fully understand your endeavour. All the best!

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Kirsti - I found out about my Grandfather a few years ago when an organisation called the "Commonwealth War Graves Commission" launched a website. They record all those service men and women (soldiers, sailors etc.) who died in the service of their country and where they are buried. I knew very lttle about my grandfather, but because he had an unusual surname, he was quite easy to track down.

    Negee - my cousin (his other granddaughter)was fascinated to hear what I had seen and found out. We hadn't spoken for several years, but she rang me up as soon as she got my letter, which was lovely!


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