The 3rd city we visited while in Europe was Wijk Ann Zee (meaning District of the Sea). Fred and I stayed at Hotel Mare Sanat, which to me was kind of like staying in a wealthy grandmother's very large house. So, basically, I loved it! The decor within was just beautiful-lush wall paper, winding stairrs, and old antique furniture. It was one of the most charming hotels I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

The little town of Wijk Ann zee was so very nice. It was quite small and people there were pretty friendly. There were a few small shops and restaurants here and there. It was a nice getaway from the big cities because the general atmosphere was much more relaxed. Also, there were not cconstant rowds of people everywhere like there were in Amsterdam. The town was very clean and well kept, too, which was refreshing.

These were our neighbors that lived accross the street from Hotel Mare Sanat. They were so very sweet and friendly...but probably because we had fresh apples for them to eat. Fred named them Bonnie and Clyde, because he said the little one dreamed of becoming a clydesdale horse. *Nerd humor.

On our first day in Wijk Ann Zee, we went to a bar/restaurant on the beach, drank coffees, and wrote out post cards while we waited patiently for the sun to set. Although we really wish it had been warm enough to sit on the beach, we still enjoyed ourselves.

Fred loves having his photo taken. You can't tell from this picture, but on the inside, he's weeping tears of pure joy.

Along the backside of the shore were these little tiny shacks. Apparently people pay/rent out the small shacks to keep and store their swimming equipment. How convienent, right? They were, however, quite an eyesore.

Ahhhh! Kasteel Assumburg! This was the first of 2 castles that we were able to visit/see. We had to travel for about 45 minutes from Wijk Ann Zee to see this magnificently crafted castle, which was built in the 15th century. Although we were not permitted to have a look around on the inside (there was a wedding being held indoors), we admired it from the outdoors. I didn't realize this prior to our arrival to the castle, but it is actually a hostel! 

Oh goodness-the gardens in the back. Gorgeous. While exploring the gardens in the back of the castle, I read on an informational bulliten/outdoor picture board that the gardens were actually created more recently-sometime in the past 5-10 years, I think.

I really liked the statues surrounding the gardens. Not only were they really beautiful, but I liked to think of them as keepers of the gardens...watching and warding off evil doings.

Imagery by Rebecca Wilson