Seek… Find.

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Since landing to South Africa, driving to Stellenbosch, surrounded by mountain, I had been craving to watch Lion King again. This feeling only got stronger when we drive across the country and witnessed surroundings exactly alike. Thus I was thrilled when Spier Wine Estate organised an outdoor movie. There’s something magical setting a blanket to the ground, watching your favourite childhood movie, and seeing the stars light up and eventually covering the entire sky. I have said this since arriving here, but I feel like the stars are much brighter here than in Europe. Though it felt like it was yesterday I last time saw the movie, all the facial expressions being so familiar, however we realised that probably we never saw the movie in English before. Funny.

Otherwise last week was time of realising how much I love yoga. It’s been on and off for me for years, but now I crave to do it every day. I’ve always known I want to become a teacher one day, and now I am making plans to actually do it. Alongside writing my thesis, which I still find motivating, I see myself reading few pages of Chakra Yoga (by Anodea Judith) or wondering online seeking experiences of the teacher training. In short, when I get excited about something, I will go all in, and now what inspires me is yoga.  I can’t wait to develop, deepen my understanding of yoga and mind body connection, and eventually teaching to others. If all goes as planned this will be sooner than later 😉

I was also introduced to a new hidden gem, Orchard, on Long Street. A couple that I got to know at Saturday am outdoor yoga took me there for a juice and I was impressed by this place. The variety of healthy food options keep surprising me in Cape Town, I seem to find a new pearl weekly. I’m also happy of my new friends, Anni is Finnish and she’s here as an expat from a large corporation, yet she has the most exciting job. It is really rare to come across the Finnish people here which I love, but I also wish to get to know the few around.  Later on Saturday we went to Oranjezicht market. I munched vietnamese rolls, and traditionally had trouble choosing a cake. I went for banana quinoa chocolate cake and bought mint chocolate brownie home. 😉

 

On Sunday we hiked up Lion’s Head. This is probably my top 1 favourite activity to do in Cape Town, and I wouldn’t miss it as a visitor. It only takes max an hour, and you get to see   360 degrees of this stunning city. Cape Town feels small, but when you look it from another perspective, you realise how widely it reaches out. Khayelitsa township covers almost all the way from Cape Town to Stellenbosch and accommodates almost 2 million people.

 

 

Hello Summer

 

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No words for this.

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New look.

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Kirstenbosch botanical garden and exploring Hout Bay

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Exploring new hoods… De Waterkant is full of cozy shop and cafes

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Neighbourgoods Saturday Market in Old Bisquit Mill

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Surfing at Big Bay, our coach already in the ocean

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My car & I. Driving to Lladudno beach.

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It’s been a week since I got a special delivery from home: wifey. Though I’ve loved to be the only Finn around and not talking Finnish in months, I had missed company of someone who knows me inside out and can have talks about life and future. 😉

 
We had our first lunch at Long Table at Haskell. Perfect spot for long catch up lunch overlooking vineyards with burger and wine. The next day we drove down to Cape Town for beach and first Thursday. 1st Thursday takes place once a month – art galleries, restaurants, bars and street pop up shops welcome people for art, design, food and partying. It was my first time and we loved it! We met up with Rupert for cocktails at HQ and ran into other friends there as well. Such a cool vibe restaurant/bar where we ended up for steaks the next day. We then started exploring art and design popping into art galleries and shops. The streets were full of people and the city felt more alive than ever. 🙂 We had burgers for dinner at Latitude 33, and found an pearl upstairs, a shop full of discounted Australian clothes, perfect for the summer in Cape Town. I finally found a white dress!

 
Friday we started off with a vinyasa class and breakfast at Skinny Legs, another discovery from the previous night. Super fresh food and interior. Later we drove to Llandudno beach, which is my favourite close to town, such beautiful scenery with huge rocks and mountains surrounding you, and not as packed as Clifton and Camps Bay. Later, we wanted to enjoy the sunset and my new lovely roommate gave us a million dollar tip. Few minute drive and we found the most stunning spot just below Lion’s Head, overlooking Camps Bay… The African sunset overlooking Cape Town is simply one of the most beautiful moments you can experience, if you ask me. Later steaks at HQ – good but I’ll stick to Hussar grill and Carne. 🙂

On Saturday we hit Neighbourgoods Marker at Old Bisquit Mill in Woodstock. Love this market! We also ran into most of my friends still in town 😀 This market serves all kind of food you can hope for and some local designers have their shops there as well. We then hit the beach again, to Bloubergstrand. Though waves were lame, was so nice to surfing after too long time. Satu had not surfer since our excursion to Portugal few years ago but she did well. We found Arne from the water and he had the honour to help us catch the waves 😉
On Sunday morning we took a barre class close to my new home in Green Point. What a workout! I feel so lucky that we found this studio, this sport is everything I hope of my workout. At least body wise, mind will still need more meditation.  We also found Nü from downstairs, a healthy fast food restaurant perfect for breakfast, lunch or grabbing a juice.

 
We then drove to Kirstenbosch, the botanical gardens. Such a beautiful, peaceful place. Go here for a romantic, peaceful picnic, next to the mountains and above the city. On Sundays you might get jazz tunes for background music. Take the top gate instead of main gate.

 
After enjoying the sun we drove down to Hout Bay for a pool party. The drive from Kirstenbosch to Hout Bay, like many others in Cape Town, feels like from another world. Also while waiting for Arne we wondered to Sandy Bay beach and were stunned by the landscape. How can you find such a remoted  untouched place so close to a city? I find myself asking questions about the nature and evolution every day and wishing I concentrated more on geology classes. Thank god for Google. Anyway, we went to a pool party on Hout Bay hills, a village that looked like a hobbit land, and the terrace facing Chapmans Peak. What a scenic day and great ending for the week. We drove back to Stellenbosch as Monday was dedicated for admin and deadlines. Hope my visitor enjoyed her first days ❤

“I just want to have a completely adventurous, passionate, weird life.”

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I cannot remember a weekend, which I did not spend in Cape Town. Though Stellenbosch is a wonderful town for everyday life, being convenient, safe and full of lovely restaurants and uni facilities, it gets boring for a big city girl/guy. I love city vibes. Cities are my thing. Though my dream is to one day live in a society where all food is grown and consumed locally and free of toxic, I have admit that I so far feel most alive in a big city. Like New York, Hong Kong, London, Cape Town… Helsinki, of course. Another contradiction in my vision…. Where to live, in a cozy laid-back town by the beach and nature or city with great vibes? Oh well, I have time to sort it out and try different places.
We’ve been fortunate to stay at friends’ or cousins’ places in CT.  After Friday night visit in UCT’s tennis club party, on Saturday morning we headed to Blouberg Strand. Enjoyed a breakfast at Paul’s terrace, dressed our wetsuits and got boards and headed to the ocean. Right now this is my concept of a perfect day. Among the waves, trying to catch one and learn to surf, next to the breathtaking view of Table Mountain.
Later that night we headed for dinner to Black Sheep. Strong recommendation! I will take all my visitors here later that is for sure. Such New York vibes and oh my heaven the food. The decision was perhaps toughest so far, but luckily I nailed it with my ostrich. I’ve never been a huge meat eater earlier, but here I would never try to resist it. Most of the meet we get here is simply so tasty. Ostrich, beef, kudu, lamb, wildebeest springbok… You name it, I’ll try it. Pam also claims the chocolate brownie to be the best in town, despite the tough competition 😀 After dinner, we headed to Tjing Tjing, a great cocktail bar and another spot where I’ll take visitors. Followed by a visit to Village Idiot, which seems to be my usual Saturday spot these days.
On Sunday we could feel the drinks from last night and the day proceeded accordingly. 😀  Waking up late at Newlands, driving around the suburbs to find something to eat, ended up for burgers. Back to Pam’s cousins’ place and A & I took a walk to buy ice cream and cake from Melissa’s food shop. The Newlands suburbs are so beautiful. Could imagine living here. We then drove back to Stellenbosch. Chocolate ice cream and huge piece of carrot cake did the magic for me and I felt better again.
It really is so good to escape every now and then from where you spend most of your days. After an exciting weekend, you feel energised to start a new week at home.

 

“It’s an amazing thing when you finally settle in to knowing you’ll never fit in. Keep standing out. Keep showing the crowd what beautifully flying free is all about.”

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After a week of feeling a bit lonely while my friends were traveling and me obligated to attend uni, the weekend was luckily completely opposite. Thanks to my local friend Arno, we kicked off Saturday morning efficiently by an AM run at the mountains, and quick gym afterwards. South Africans seem to have an early, sporty rhythm compared to us international students… Which I like –  felt so good having done run & gym & shower by 10AM on a weekend!

Later we headed to Cape Town with Nico. I then headed for dinner with Maria to 95 Keerom – an Italian restaurant with great food, especially meat and wine. The owner is same as of Carne  – both are well worth a visit while in CT. Our night continued at Orphange and Village Idiot with the guys & Florentine, who had just before landed from their travels. Ah how I had missed these peeps.

On Sunday, the first day of Summer to me, we headed to Clifton beach. The views of mountains, clear water and city vibes keep amazing me… Later we watched the sunset at Maria’s roof. I could’ve stared this view forever. Later we had a reunion with Pam and Florentine who picked me up and we shared a dinner, catching up of everyone’s adventures during the past days. Pam bungee jumped from the highest bridge in South Africa. She did it with such a confidence based on the video – one brave girl 🙂 So much had I missed these girls! We headed back to Stellenbosch and I still catches up with another recently arrived traveller… Was so good to get you back peeps!

xxx

“It feels good to be lost in the right direction”

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I know myself well enough by now to know that I crave adventures. New places, new people, new adventures. I need to be physically active to feel alive. I crave people around me who stimulate my mind, inspire and challenge my views. Encourage me to pursue my dreams. That is what drives me as well – inspiring others.
This week was emotionally though. I felt homesick for the first time 🙂 It was because my closed ones were out of town, and due to my differing MBA calendar I couldn’t travel with them. I also learned that the combination of working long shifts in a restaurant and trying to keep up with all the work MBA requires is mentally and physically challenging. I also want to put my time more in sports, in my relationships and EXPLORING, new adventures. Thus, work will have to go for now.
We are off to Cape Town now with Nico, my roommate. Plan is to explore Woodstock, meet up with the guys landing from Durban, have a nice dinner, go to a jazz club and continue to Village Idiot. Tomorrow hopefully it is time to hit the beach.
P.S. If anyone else feels stuck or not inspired, I advice you to take time for yourself. Hike on a mountain, go to the beach, or find yourself from a spacious and scenic wine estate… Of course depending your location – point is, get to the nature. xxx

I like to surround myself with creative people. They love life in such a contagious way that is often hard to put into words.

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The past week I
– Served my first tables at Rust En Vrede. Best part of my job are the conversations with customers who have without exceptions been lovely so far. I especially love hearing their stories from Scandinavia and tell them more about Finland (Northern Lights is a hot topic)
– Gave my strategic consultation whether implementing another production line was a wise choice or not for the brand Double O  😉 One of my advise is naturally that consumer behaviour is shifting away from soft drinks into healthier options – U.S. serves as a great example where decline in demand has continued now 10 years in row. It is only matter of time when African consumers become more conscious consumers as well
– Ditched studies for few hours to enjoy a romantic afternoon date in the Botanical Garden, hidden in the middle of Stellenbosch Uni campus
– Had an amazing steak dinner in Carne in Cape Town. Simply an unique experience for people who appreciate great service and meat. PJ and I shared 5 different kinds of African birds and lamb ravioli with fries, broccoli, spinach, salad, mushroom sauce…. And though the food is better than you can dream of, the chocolate fondant with ice cream is actually my favourite dish. Description cannot be put to words.
– Danced all night on Thursday night in a house party with 100 of our closest friends. I can’t believe I didn’t know these people less than 6 weeks ago.
– Sweated my ass off twice at hot yoga
– Spent a relaxing Saturday at Spier Wine Estate with PJ. She went to see TedX talks, I sat on a bridge over a river and enjoyed the pleasure of not having to do absolutely anything
– Partied all night in Cape Town with roomies. We went to Orphanege and Village Idiot, which became perhaps my favourite bar ever. Great vibes and felt like being back in New York
– Hangover drive to Hout Market with a convertible, passing Lion’s Head, Table Mountain and along the beautiful coastline of Cape Town. What a beautiful city
– Enjoyed my first home cooked meal in South Africa by PJ’s cousin – so delicious I decided it’s time for me to start using our lovely kitchen at home 😉
 Can’t wait what this week will bring… Have a great one lovelies ❤

Fashion weekend in Cape Town

Last weekend we drove to Cape Town to attend the Fashion Week and show of next generation.

“From firm fashion favourites to emerging artists, the shows feature everything from glamorous garments, ready-to-wear pieces, wedding couture and the latest developments in menswear. Apart from the established names in the business, the annual couture conference affords young designers the opportunity to dazzle audiences with their fresh ideas and share the runway with the elite crew of trendy exhibitors.”

It was an interesting experience to try to blend into the stylish crowd of South African fashionistas. So many beautiful and stylish people here! Afterwards we had a delicious eight course dinner at Africa cafe, consisting traditional dishes from all around the continent. So far, the food has never disappointed me and this time was no exception. Such a culinary experience. After dinner, we had to say goodbye to Saire and Chris, who we only got to spend a couple of weeks as roommates, but will by no doubt see each other again. Miss them already.

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We stayed overnight at PJ’s cousins place in Newlands. On Sunday we found ourselves from Truth Coffee, an unique space with great great food and coffee. This city keeps surprising me with its great restaurants, among everything else…

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Our beloved home. Though Cape Town is exciting and I’ve got so much more to explore there, was so good to arrive back home to Stellenbosch. Love this place even more.

xxx