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31 May 2017

Arriving in Amsterdam

Maggie May in Amsterdam

I have always wanted to go to Amsterdam.

Ever since I was a little girl, and saw pictures of the colourful canal houses lined up higgledy-piggledy at the water's edge. 

Luckily for me, Mr MM was desperate to visit too, which meant choosing his birthday present this year was easy!

Amsterdam Canal Houses

Amsterdam
With noses prepped to sniff out the earliest sign of a stroopwafel, and hands clutching umbrellas and our Lonely Planet guide, we were ready for a long weekend in this delightfully relaxed, beautiful city.

Maggie May in Amsterdam - Joules Coast Waterproof

Maggie May in Amsterdam - Joules Coast Waterproof


I packed my trusty Coast waterproof jacket for two main reasons: firstly, Amsterdam has a bit of a reputation for rainy weather, and secondly, because bright yellow felt like the perfect choice for a spring city break {and snaps in front of narrow boats} 

Amsterdam

Maggie May in Amsterdam - Joules Coast Waterproof

Maggie May in Amsterdam - Joules Coast Waterproof

We spent the first few hours getting our bearings, simply soaking up the gorgeous atmosphere as we criss-crossed bridges and walked down long, sweeping tree-lined paths.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

After a quick refuel in the form of flat whites, it was time to visit the first stop on our list.

Anne Frank House.

Queue for Anne Frank House


I vividly remember reading Anne Frank's Diary when I was about 10 years old. Although I was young, I still recall how I was struck with emotion by Anne's profound and mature writing. Perhaps I couldn't quite understand the sheer scale of what Anne represented, but I knew that one day I would visit the place where she and her family had spent so long in hiding. 

The first thing to say about Anne Frank House is book your tickets at least a couple of months before your trip, or be prepared to queue for a while - it's unsurprisingly one of the city's main sights, and the hoards of people crowded around the entrance confirm this.

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Once you've managed to step inside, you're instantly met by Anne, captured in her carefree innocence in a selection of honest, happy photographs. There are few information panels in the house, but you are provided with an audio guide instead which talks you through each room. 

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Each person will interpret the experience differently; certain messages or quotations hitting home more than others.

For me, a moment which stood out in particular was when I finally saw that famous bookcase, shielding the entrance to the floors beyond.

Bookcase at Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

And of course, the diary itself.

http://www.annefrank.org/

"Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I've never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year old school girl. Oh well, it doesn't matter. I feel like writing."

And Anne, we are so glad you did.

If you're planning a trip to the Dutch capital, make sure Anne Frank House is on your list. It is honestly a must-visit.

Thank you to Anne Frank House for organising my press visit, and for providing the above images of the museum - © Anne Frank House / Photographer: Cris Toala Olivares.
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