On February 26th, I celebrated my 49th birthday in the city of Bethlehem.
The 25th and 26th of February are always holidays in Kuwait because of the observance of National and Liberation Days, and while the past many years have been spent in Sri Lanka, this time we decided to take a 4 day trip to Jerusalem.
This was my first trip back to the Holy Land since 2006.
Once again, we visited the Church of the Nativity which is currently undergoing major restoration.
Emperor Constantine and his mother, Saint Helena, had the original basilica built and dedicated in 339 AD over the site of Jesus birth.
The current building was erected in 565 AD after the original basilica was destroyed by fire during a revolt between Jews and Samaritans.
Here you can see Constantine's 4th century mosaic floor which was rediscovered in 1934.
As you can imagine, it is very dark inside and was difficult to take a lot of photos. Plus, there were so many tour groups waiting to enter the grotto of the nativity.
And the grotto of the manger.
Back outside it was a truly gorgeous blue sky day.
Just the week before they had snow so we were truly blessed with beautiful weather during our entire stay.
And my birthday couldn't have been better.
The day was full from morning to night with lots of walking, visiting, sightseeing, experiencing, enjoying each and every moment.
In the evening we celebrated with homemade cakes made my husband's family.
A wonderfully blessed birthday indeed.