It doesn’t get much more beautiful than Finland’s Nuuksio National Park, which may be only an hour from central Helsinki but feels like a million miles away in both space and time. Unspoilt and untouched, the semi-wilderness stretches for miles – glassy lakes, springy moss, tiny log huts with open wooden fires, blueberries underfoot. The lovely Karina Kold, who ventured into the forest with me and 18 other student journalists, wrote this fantastic blog about our adventures and kindly said I could post it here.
Nuuksio National Park – tall trees, lovely lakes and blue vitamin bombs
Welcome to Nuuksio National Park, its beautiful lakes and delicious blueberries! On the second day of FCP 2011 we all put on our hiking shoes and went into the wilderness.
Conveniently for nature lovers Nuuksio is only half an hour driving away from the city centre. Its landscape is formed by the Ice Age with rocky hilltops and is dotted with dozens of lovely lakes. In Finland it is free for everyone to fish, pick berries and mushrooms in the forest. No wonder that Nuuksio has over 200.000 visitors a year.
The participants of FCP 2011 is a chatty group and the hike was an excellent opportunity to get to know each other while breathing in the fresh air and admiring the lakes as they peacefully reflected the sky like a mirror. Now and then we stopped to listen to our guide Pekka Väänänen from Green Window who told us he might have gone a “bit strange” after all the time he had spent in the forest.
After some hours of hiking and a nice dinner in a wooden tipi-shaped house it was time for our first Finnish sauna experience. I dare say it was a hit heating up our bodies in the sauna, running to the jetty and jumping in the fresh lake. Screams of joy echoed in the forest of Nuuksio.
The last forest task of the day was to tell a tree our biggest worry while hugging it. Pekka Väänänen instructed us in this Finnish tradition. Everybody picked their own tree and with forehead bend to the trunk and eyes closed we shared a worry with a Finnish tree and said kindly goodbye to Nuuksio National Park.
Kiitos! – Karina Kold
You can read the rest of our blog posts about Finland on the Finnish Foreign Ministry’s website.