Nuuksio was one of the places on our Finland "bucket" list so we knew we would eventually get there. But seeing it with Finns who know their way around (Olli Pekka is an arborist to boot so he was able to tell us about the trees and plants we encountered on the walk) was a special treat.
My kids are great hikers--they all started hiking as soon as they could walk. So we have always taught the kids be mindful hikers: stay on the trail, don't pick wildflowers, leave nothing behind...
They love to find and follow the markers for the trail we are following.
...but in Finland, "Everyman's Right" (freedom to roam) means that you don't have to stay on the trail and it's actually okay to pick flowers, berries and mushrooms (as long as you know they are not endangered, poisonous or in someone's backyard).
And the forest floor in Nuuksio is covered with low-growing blueberry plants.
So in late July when the blueberries are ripe, visitors to Nuuksio will be able to pick thousands of berries as they hike. I'm so jealous and I'd love to visit again in July, but I doubt we will get back there!
It started to drizzle just as we approached the shelter where we were going to have a Finnish style outdoor meal. As soon as we reached the shelter, it poured!
|Eija and Sam soaked from our dash to shelter!|
Apparently, we weren't the only ones who planned on "grilli" for dinner!
So after watching the hail come down from the safety of our shelter, we decided to head back to Eija and Olli Pekka's home for grilli and Finnish pancakes (yum!).
I'm not quite sure what was better...the delicious dinner, or the fascinating conversation with Eija, Olli Pekka and Leeza (their daughter who is studying political science in Lyon, France).
I really hope we will have some Finnish visitors in Chicago in the next few years! I can't wait to repay the wonderful hospitality we have been shown since arriving here.