Nuuksio - Nature Reserve

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Where I stayed
Jere and Arja's house

Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Sunday, July 18, 2010

The next morning my knee was feeling much better. Steve made me breakfast and I spent some time stretching my leg and working the stiffness out. None of us wanted to miss out on going to Nuuksio, which is a beautiful nature reserve just outside of Helsinki. Steve and I were also excited because Jere and Arja were going to join us! :) After breakfast we grabbed our day bags and headed out to the grocery store. Steve and I bought some sausages, a finish cheese and another delicious finish snack called Karjalanpiirjakka. We bought two potato and two carrot Karjalanpiirakka's.

After the grocery store (the same one we were trying to get to the day before when i injured my knee lol) we walked over to the train station and paid 4 Euros each to get on. We met Jere at one of the stops and continued on to Espo; which is where the nature reserve is. Of course the train was late so when we arrived at our stop we had to run to catch our next bus which would take us the rest of the way. Thank god we caught it because if we hadn't we would have been stuck in Espo for another 2 hours with not much to do.

We were quite surprised at how far the city bus went into the woods. This nature reserve was pretty much located 30 min into the woods on a dirt road. It was awesome that the bus took us out there! Usually in Canada you'd have to take a truck. But even the dirt roads here are amazingly well kept. Jere told us that they pour sand and water or something on the dirt roads and pack it to make it smooth. I took a picture of their highways because it looks so fresh and new, but its not! It's just a good road. It's amazing that this is something I would take a picture of. But that's Sudbury for ya lol Anyways, we got off and started walking. The reserve was quite beautiful, but it looked exactly the same as Canada. Everything was the same, the pine trees, the birch trees, the ducks, the weeds...the misquotes. Actually, there weren't that many misquotes until midnight, but they were the same lol

We walked up and down hills, to a lake, saw a family of ducks, mushed our feet around in squishy ground and ate our  Karjalanpiirakka's before we decided to find a nice spot to have a fire. I thought we would simply find a place in the bush, but this park had designated spots made for you. Really nice spots too. There were little tiny log cabins with beautiful fire pit's inside to cook food on. The first one we went to was occupied, the second was occupied as well...sort of. Right before we were ready to make a fire, we saw two tiny baby birds underneath the pit a nest above it. We stayed there a while feeding the ones on the ground ants and watching the mother feed the ones in the nest. After calling the park headquarters (I guess that's what you call them) we moved them into a safe located that the mother could find them, as advised. I took a bunch of pictures and a video then we left them in peace. Our final stop was at a pit right by the lake.  Jere and Aryja went swimming while Steve and I relaxed.

When dinner time came (finally!) it was time to try the new foods. The cheese we ate was quite rubbery and tasted like a mild mozzarella, but with the cloud berry jam on top was quite delicious. Steve and I both liked the potatoe Karjalanpiirakka better than the carrot. In case you don't know what a Karjalanpiirakka is, it's a really popular Finish snack food. Not potatoe chips or chocoalte. But a very thin circular pastry type bread filled with various mushed up dinner foods. They have carrot, potatoe, egg and butter and many other fillings that I don't know about.  Jere liked to put very weird things on top of his. He would cook them a little in the microwave and melt cheese, pepper and cuecumbers on top. This was actually very good, it was when he added pickled apple peppers and pickled fish on top that made it odd. This is of course along with the cheese and pepper. I'm sure he likes to add lots of other weird foods on top of his Karjalanpiirakka's that I don't know about lol. But we did LOVE what he had in store for dessert. We ate grilled chocolate bananas! He peeled one side of the banana and made a slit along the length of it and filled it with pieces of chocolate. Then he closed it all back up in the peal and set them on the fire to grill. Once the banana was sofened and the chocolate was melted, they were ready to eat. IT WAS SOO YUMMY. Im deffenitly going to take that one home.

We were all pretty full after our huge meal and decided to head back after Jere took another swim. In total we were out for 12 hours by the time we got home. Quite a long day. Especially when you are supposed to get up early the next day to hitch hike to Turku, Finland.
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