Roadtrips, scenery, rocks and penguins

Hey!
 
Now we have been in Waitati(15 min outside Dunedin) for a little more than two weeks. We are staying at a B&B owned by an elderly couple, Geoff and Faye. In exchange for food and accomodation we have been helping them with gardening, painting, food shopping etc. Their house is very beautiful and they also have lots of animals including 4 cats, 1 goat, some sheep and some chickens. Our first weekend we did a small roadtrip to Wanaka which is about 160 km from us. There we met our previous roomie and Micke's friend and girlfriend. She is from NZ so we got to stay in her family's house for the weekend. It was situated right next to Lake Hawea and had stunning views! When we arrived we immidietly went into the water. The next day we went to a festival all day long. It was super hot and sunny! The music at the festival was local and very good but we didn't recognize anything.. Following day was rainy so we went a quick tour into Wanaka and then we drove back home, did a few stops along the way.
 
First some pictures from our drive from Christchurch to Dunedin:
 
We stopped at a place called Rakaia Gorge, had a small hike and when we reached the top it was super windy! I have never experienced that much wind!
 
 
Meet Teppo - our mascot, he is a kiwi bird from Lake Tekapo (hence the name!) background is lake Pukaki :)
Below are some photos from a 3 hour hike we made, called Hooker Valley Trail.
 
 
In the evening we slept next to the lake, the sunset was hard to beat with the snowy mountains in the far distance..
 
 
Below, Elephant Rocks, starred in Narnia! Very peculiar :)
 
 
Building in the small town of Omaru.
 
 
Mouraki boulders, a lot of tourists but very cool!
 
 
View from house :D
 
 
 
Below are pictures from a place called the organ pipes in Dunedin. First we had to walk through a jungle like forest and then we had to climb some stones to get to the top. Very nice view :))
 
 
Below are some photos from our daytrip to Otago Peninsula. The scenery was amazing! And only 15 min from the city center! 
 
 
Last Sunday we went to Sandfly Beach and had dinner, looked at the sealions and also saw to yellow eyed penguins. Later we went to the Royal Albatross Center to see the world's smallest penguin coming into their nests. They were so tiny and so cute! About 25 cm height.
 
 
Route so far...
 
 
Mikael has gotten a job as an arborist in Nelson which is situated in the north of the south island. We are leaving tomorrow to go on a ten day roadtrip towards Nelson, so excited! Now the car really has to prove itself :) We have fixed it very nicely but it is certainly veeery small! Today has been the worst weather so far probably, heavy rain all day and 10 degrees, brr! The house is not isolated so very cold inside as well. Time for bed now when Europe wakes up, night night!

First New Zealand post!

Hello from the other side!
 
I know I shouln't complain but I'm boiling from the heat over here, it's about 30 c now and sunny, too hot too be outside for long and very hot indoors due too lack of AC. But well it's certainly nice to have summer again :) Our journey went well with only minor delays and surprisingly little jetlag! Our flight left at 07.10 from Copenhagen on the 17th of January, did a 3 hour stopover in London and then 12 hours later we landed in Singapore where we spent one day. It took us some time to get away from the airport as we were trying to find luggage storage and people kept sending us back and forth between the terminals. We manage to get into the centre at about 10.30. We were very optimistic thinking we would be there at 08.30.. We started exploring Chinatown where we ate a rice and chicken dish from a very run down place. It was really cheap and very tasty! Then we walked further and found a huge food court but by then we were obvisouly already full. We bought some juice anyway and checked all the strange foods. At the market we found a fruit stand where we bought a fruit I've never seen but Micke loved it so he bought 1 kg which we ate straight away. It's called mangosteen and was very good! After that we walked towards the seafront and the bay of gardens. It's a big park with with museum, children's waterpark, different plants and big "fake" trees. We went up the trees to enjoy the view, it felt way higher than when you were on the ground. We then walked to another foodcourt to fins food. Unfortunately half of the stands where closed as it was a Chinese holiday. When finished we felt quite ready to go back to the airport so on our way to the metro we stopped to check out a shopping mall where they had gondoles and a small stream of water, very peculiar! The flight left at 20, did a stopover in Kuala Lumpur and then Auckland via Gold Coast in Australia. 
 
 
 
We arrived to Auckland at 18 o clock and found our way into the centre and our flat. It was a nice and warm evening :) We stayed in a flat with three bedrooms in total. No one lived in the other two so we had the whole place to ourselves the whole weekend :) It was located right at a big crossing and near a motorway but also walking distance to most places. During the weekend we explored Auckland by climbing Mt Eden, an old volcano, swim in a pond with muddy bottom (it was a bit gross) and a nice beach, walked around in park which looked like a jungle and more. 
 
 
Monday 20th we flew to Christchurch on the south island and left our bags at the accommodation. Then we walked into the city centre which, to be honest, was not much to see. We went to the bank to book an appointment, had some lunch, took a powernap in a park and did some grocery shopping. The accomodation was/is in a couple's house. They have 6 cats and a bunch of chickens. There is also a German couple staying here but they are going back home after a year of travelling around NZ. The days has mostly gone by with preparing and fixing stuff for our coming adventure. We opened up bank accounts, got phone numbers, bought a car and cleaning the car. We've also gone to the beach a few times. The water is really nice, probably 20-22 degrees. Today we will visit the botanical gardens with the German couple and fix some stuff with the car. We are staying in Christchurch until wednesday, then we will have a small roadtrip down to Dunedin where we will stay at a B&B and work for them a few hours per day for free accomodation and food. Micke has been there before so he knows the people. After that we don't have anything planned. We will probably go to the west coast and do some camping, visit some friends in Wanaka and perhaps apply for a job. 
 
 
Thanks for reading! 

1,5 months later

I have always had it on my bucketlist to study in America. When I found out I couldn't go abroad in my program I was a bit disappointed but I thought I might be able to do it later, after I graduated. So on day I read on our web platform that there was a chance to go to the US and study for a semester! Application deadline: 4 days. I was happy, nervous and excited at the same time. Happy because there was a chance to go, nervous because I didn't know if anyone else would apply and get the spot instead of me and excited because this was an opportunity of a lifetime. I quickly started with the application documents and soon realised it was more than expected! My teacher and friends helped me out and the application was sent the same day as the deadline, puh! 
 
I waited and waited and finally got nominated by Malmö University to go. Now was the time for the official application for RIT. This was even more complicated than the previous one! There had to be medical records, bank statements and all sorts of strange papers. I managed to put everything together eventually and then more waiting. In the end of April I received a letter from RIT saying I was accepted and it all felt so real... 
 
Now, 1,5 months since I came back from my semester abroad I can definitly say it was worth it! Even though I wanted to quit the ever so annoying application proccess and had soooo much to study I met a bunch of amazing people from all over the world, gained a lot of knowledge from the things I studied and became more confident. I want to thank all the people overseas who made my semester successful, I hope I will meet you soon again :D
 
To all of you who have a bucketlist filled with things, I say; Get your cute butt out there and do it! You have so much to gain and I promise you won't regret it ;)
 
Thank you for following my America-chapter, now let's start a new one...