Sopping in Knysna. My top 3 boutiques.

Knysna Heads. View from the Leisure Island.
Knysna Heads. View from the Leisure Island.

Knysna was our holyday destination for years. It is a beautiful costal town in South Africa; it’s in about six hours drive from Cape Town. It is blessed with stunning views and worm Indian Ocean waters (huge plus in comparison to the freezing ocean in Cape Town). Because of its unique geography, Knysna reminds me of the pearl in the shell: the rolling green hills are surrounding the Knysna Lagoon and in the middle of lagoon are two islands: Leisure Island and Thesens Island. The only access to the see are The Heads – narrow and pretty shallow opening to the ocean. Because of the shallowness and narrowness of this channel, if the weather is raff and the tide is wrong, the see vessels cannot get in or out. But the roaring breaking waves do makes the great spectacle! And you can admire it from one of the two café-restaurants, right near it.

The amount of activities you can do in and around Knysna is huge! From whale watching and sunset cruise on the yacht, to bungee jumping and tree tops gliding; from admiring exotic birds in Birds of Eden to walking with elephants in Elephant Sanctuary. This makes Knysna very popular tourist spot. And plus, it is summer in South Africa when it’s freezing winter in Northern Hemisphere. The cheap South African currency adds to the “value for the money” factor. I even heard the term “Swallows” from the locals. They call “Swallows” the people from Europe, who bought holyday homes in Knysna, and are living there during summer period. I see the tourists in Knysna all year around.

Thesen Island, Thesen Harbour Town.
Thesen Island, Thesen Harbour Town.

Knysna changed dramatically in recent years. It was a sleepy little town then and now it is a trendy holyday spot. I love it! And what very important for us girls – the shopping is so much better! I thought I will be able to cover it all in one blog post; little did I know! That’s why there will be a lot more, than just one blog post, on my beloved Knysna. And in this – first post, I will name my top three boutiques which any fashionable girl must visit. And here they are:

  1. On the Thesen Island there are quite a few trendy and not so boutiques. My favourite is – “Diana Loon”. Why? Because she has a great taste in picking cool modern pieces from local South African designers. And the prices are amazing! I got there a hat, a black mesh dress, couple of colourful gym pants and cool pearl earrings. I will feature all of them in my future outfit posts.
Diana Loon. Thesen Island.
Diana Loon. Thesen Island.

20160105-_65A2789

20160116-20160105-_65A2800

20160116-20160105-_65A2792

20160116-20160105-_65A2788

20160105-_65A2797

20160105-_65A2796

 

2       “Two on Toast”. This one is located in town, in the Rex building across the Water Front. Why? Not surprising,               it also stocks local talents and its own brand by the same name. They also have a great selection of really cool               and cute jewellery. And tonnes of other unexpected stuff. It is like treasure chest.

 

Two on Toast
Two on Toast

20160106-_65A2887

20160105-_65A2871

20160105-_65A2865

20160105-_65A2869

20160106-_65A2879

 

3      “AKLD” – Aldo Kleyn Leather Designs. This one is also on the Thesen Island, on the same street with “Diana               Loon” boutique. Why? It is a leather shop and you can find there an amazing leather bags, accessories and cool           boots. For this one I will have to budget, leather is not chip. But if compared, the prices are not bad. The                         stunning red clutch, made out of the sting ray leather, is about 180 USD.

 

AKLD leather boutique.
AKLD leather boutique.

20160105-_65A2820

20160105-_65A2814

20160105-_65A2811

20160105-_65A2818

20160105-_65A2824

20160105-_65A2827

 

What I like the most about Knysna boutiques – they stock unique limited edition designs. And they stock is very eclectic; you can find the most unexpected items next to each other. To me it makes the shopping experience more like adventure; you never know what you will find. Exiting!

 

Saint Petersburg diary.

We visited Saint Petersburg couple of years ago. Thous times I haven’t had a blog. So the photos from the trip was just stuck in one of many folders on my computer. It is a time for them to see a light of the day.

Trinity Bridge. Saint Petersburg.
                                                                   Trinity Bridge. Saint Petersburg.

 

Cruiser Aurora. Saint Petersburg
                                                                                       Cruiser Aurora.

 

Saint Petersburg
                                                                     Saint Petersburg, Neva river canal.

 

I am from Moldova, little country in Eastern Europe, which was a part of Ester Block. Because of it I am constantly being called Russian. I never had anything against it. Only I never visited Russia till then. And Saint Petersburg trip was my first time in Russia.

 

Saint Petersburg street.
                                                                            Saint Petersburg street.

The reason we visited the Saint Petersburg was the Clay Pigeon Shooting World Championship. It is shotgun shooting competition. Very exiting and not easiest hobby to master. And I must categorically state, I am absolutely against shooting living creatures! But this hobby is great to master concentration. And concentration is key in this sport.

 

Saint Petersburg
                                                                          Saint Petersburg.

I must say the airport was very underwhelming, but the brand new airport building was built across. And in general the city was undergoing a lots of renovations. I was pleasantly surprised that majority of Russians spoke not bad English. Not like it was a problem for me, my mother tong is Russian. But it was helpful to the rest of the group, I was only Russian speaking.

Saint Petersburg, Church of the Savior on Blood
                                            Saint Petersburg, Church of the Savior on Blood.

 

 

 

Saint Petersburg, Church of the Savior on Blood.
                                                Saint Petersburg, Church of the Savior on Blood.

Because we was there, so to say, for business and not for pleasure, it did not live us to much time to explore. But I still managed to find the time for couple of tours and shopping trips. We  stayed at boutique hotel Rossi. I must say they restaurant was superb and service in general was phenomenal! We was very disorganised bunch, we did not organised any tours in advance and people was constantly changing they mind. Hotel stuff at the reception desk suggest the tours and they organised everything according to our needs and wants, despite all the indecisiveness.

 

 

 

Door in Saint Isaac's Cathedral. Saint Petersburg.
                                             Door in Saint Isaac’s Cathedral. Saint Petersburg.

 

Door in Saint Isaac's Cathedral. Saint Petersburg.
                                         Door in Saint Isaac’s Cathedral. Saint Petersburg.

 

Ceilings in Saint Isaac's Cathedral. Saint Petersburg.
                                       Ceilings in Saint Isaac’s Cathedral. Saint Petersburg.

 

We eventually went on the tour on the barge on the Neva river, and went on the city tour through cathedrals and other land marks. For that we had to miss price giving ceremony, not like we won anything. And tour was totally worth it! Also at the and of each day, after competition, we would walk to the random restaurants or just walk the streets. I must say we didn’t even scratched the surface of all of the things you can do and see in Saint Petersburg.

 

 

Souvenirs Saint Petersburg.
                                                                         Souvenirs Saint Petersburg.

 

I am fashion designer, so any ware I go, I will look for fabric store. And to my luck, one was located just around the corner of the hotel. I got there beautiful Chanel tweed, Cavalli digitally printed chiffon and other fabrics. A bit further was haberdashery store and there I got Swarovski buttons, some beautiful lace and zippers. Some stuff I used already, some I will use soon. All the pieces will be featured in the blog.

 

Souvenir shop. Saint Petersburg.
                                                                        Souvenir shop. Saint Petersburg.

Saint Petersburg is amazing tourist destination. Rich in history and very tourist friendly. I loved every minute of the Saint Petersburg experience. And I would come back as a normal tourist anytime! There are tonnes to explore in Saint Petersburg!