Meet Laura Fagerlund. Laura is a Vice President of IFLRY and a Council member of the Swedish Youth of Finland. She is currently living in South Africa, where she is doing an internship with the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance. In her blog, Laura gives you a first-person account of what it’s like for her to live and work halfway around the world in a country that couldn’t be more different from her native Finland.
You can find her other blog posts here.
When I sit down to write this, I realize I am already on my 10th blog post! Have I really been here for four months already?! Time flies and I can’t believe it is only two months until I pack my bags and leave this beautiful country. I have started to realize that this adventure is coming to an end, but I am trying my best to just enjoy these last few months and not dwell on the fact that I have to say goodbye to the friends I’ve made, the nature I’ve fallen in love with, and the places where I have become a regular. I have to say, I am very thankful that Krijn (one of the Libel editors) asked me to write this blog while I am here. It is nice to have some of the memories I’ve made and thoughts I’ve had during my time in South Africa saved somewhere.
My last two blog posts were centered around the Democratic Alliance – this time I thought I would write an update on what I have been doing during my free time. Maybe I can even give some tips on what to do while in Cape Town, which could be helpful for the General Assembly delegates that are coming to the city in two (!) weeks. Firstly, I have met up with friends as often as possible. One of our favourite activities is to go out for dinner or drinks. My favourite restaurants and pubs include:
- Scarpetta: a small italian restaurant in the hipster-ish neighbourhood Woodstock. The owner Ricky is amazing and makes you feel like you are having dinner at a friend’s house! Just remember to bring your own wine.
- Roxy Late Night: a pub/restaurant in Gardens. I often find myself here for lunch during the week or for an AW with friends.
- Kloof Street House: this restaurant is a bit more expensive, but the food is 100% worth it! The interior design is amazing as well. You might want to book a table, this is a popular place.
- Clarke’s Bar & Dining Room: this restaurant in the city center is the perfect place for brunch, but also serves dinner. I had a great time here during my birthday celebrations!
- Tiger’s Milk: This chain has good happy hour deals and great food. The Tiger’s Milk in Camps Bay is excellent if you want to watch the sunset while sipping on a drink.
- Hank’s Olde Irish: This has become one of my most visited pubs in Cape Town. You should definitely go there if you like Jazz, as they have live Jazz there on Tuesdays!
- The Gin Bar: If you like Gin & Tonics, this is a must. The interior design is very cool, and I like the fact that you have to go through a closed café to get to the bar.
While writing my list, I realize I could add so many places more. This city definitely has amazing restaurants and pubs to offer!
Secondly, I have spent a lot of time watching the amazing views in Cape Town and in the surrounding areas. You can enjoy the views while hiking, going for a wine tasting at a wine farm, or driving along the coast. These are some of the activities I recommend:
- If you are into hiking, you have a lot of trails to choose from! I enjoyed hiking up Lion’s Head and Table Mountain. If you want the views but don’t want to or can’t hike, you can take an Uber to Signal Hill.
- If you’re more into drinking wine, you can do that while having amazing views at Constantia Glen or Beau Constantia.
- Take the Hop on Hop off bus to Simon’s Town and the Cape of Good Hope. You will see penguins and ostriches (maybe even a whale if you are lucky) and watch the rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula.
- Hire a car and drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive – spectacular views are guaranteed!
- Spend the day at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Bring some snacks and drinks and enjoy your day while surrounding yourself with beautiful nature and mountain views.
- If you want to see the Table Mountain from far away, while also learning more about the rich history of South Africa, you can take the boat to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela where imprisoned for 18 years.
I could write much more about all the places I think are worth visiting, but I think this will do for now. Next time I write, it will already be December and one of the highlights of the year will have taken place (that is, the IFLRY General Assembly!). Until then – if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
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Laura Fagerlund is a Vice President of IFLRY and a Council member of the Swedish Youth of Finland. She just finished a degree in Political Science at Åbo Akademi University in Finland. You can contact her via email@example.com or on Twitter: @laurafagerlund