November 1988 saw MDH and I hitch-hiking through Israel. Having been brought up catholic it was amazing and wonderful to spend time in the country of the biblical stories I/we were brought up with.
After arriving in Eilat from Egypt and playing at Masada and in the Dead Sea we hitched a ride to Jerusalem in a refrigerated truck with the 'correct style' number plates. We were let out at Jaffa Gate (with cool back packs) and wondered till we found the Youth Hostel.
Whilst in Jerusalem we did the Christian 'tourist' things and before we left I wanted to buy a memento of our stay - MDH was NOT so keen especially when he realised the 'size of it'.
I just loved the bustle and colour and activity of the souk (the Arab market) and we left with this nativity set which is purported to be carved from olive tree timber.
It's stood up to 21years of being used and loved in our family - a camel has a broken leg and every year I find the stave's AFTER the season is over but it's special and I remember the buying of it and recall our stories of our travels every time I unwrap it at Christmas time.
Israel for four weeks was a wonderful month with exciting stories and lots of photos and adventures of us itinerant Aussies.