The Amazing Nature of Homeland Finland – Springtime in Herttoniemi

Travels — 21.5.2018

Foreign friends and followers, you should come to Finland! Last year I moved back here after I had spent seven years abroad – and now I have been amazed of the nature of my homeland. I hadn’t experienced the Finnish spring in years and lately I have felt like walking in a fairy-tale when I have wandered in the forests of my hoods in Herttoniemi (in Helsinki). Even the tiny – over a half million inhabitants – capital Helsinki has a lot of nature around. The whole Finland is nothing but forests, water and clean air. In fact, according to statistics from the World Health Organisation, the air in Finland is the cleanest in the world. And you can smell it!

The springtime in Finland is just special. I think May would be a great time to visit here especially if you happen to be from a big city with pollution or you don’t have too much nature around. This would be a perfect country for a retreat in the nature. In the past one and half month it’s been wonderful to see how the nature has changed from light snow banks to full summer. Slowly slowly everything turned green – and started to bloom just suddenly!

My daily happiness is to go for a walk in Herttoniemi, Viikki, Roihuvuori or Kulosaari natural areas. It doesn’t need to be jogging or any kind of sports performance (even though there happen to be the greatest stairs for a hard workout just a few steps from my place in Herttoniemi). The most meaningful thing is what the forest gives to mind – to the mental health. It is studied but it’s also common sense that forest has a big health impact on people. It calms down and feels like a therapy session to go through the woods. It is such a pleasure and visual candy to see the super green leaves filtering the sunrays if it shines or smell all the scents when it rains. Our national tree silver birch gives such a vivid setting. And the view of spruces and pines gives the steady feel of safety. When I was basking in the sun on the solid rock by the sea I noticed how secluded and safe I felt. I’m sure we are one of the safest countries in the word. It’s no wonder they say it is a jackpot to be born in Finland. Clean air, nature and safety: those are pretty good reasons for that phrase. I think those are the reasons why more immigrants would appreciate it here. We would have space but the country is pretty strict with the immigration policy. The problem of this country is narrow mindedness and some extremist ideologies – in fact the nation is pretty divided when it comes to this but there is a hope that we are changing more and more towards globalization and still managing in keeping our values alive. A great attempt in driving the openness is the free-cost World Village Festival, which is hold now in the end of the month in the Central Station.

Helsinki offers the sea cliffs. Inland we represent “the land of thousands lakes”. I was born by the lake but now I’m enjoying summery picnics here in the forest by the sea. The undergrowth of forests here in my hoods is spread with lily of the valley. That’s our national flower. I’m looking forward to its blossom. The anemones are blooming already and they decorate the forest path. Ferns are there too reminding of the eternal connection of man to nature. Parks are filled with bright yellow dandelion that compete with the sun. And the cherry blossom has been beautiful these weeks – and there was just the cherry blossom Hanami feast in Roihuvuori Cherry Park.

Probably the most heart touching thing in spring is the bird song. In the hatching season the air is filled with beautiful songs of different birds – and you hear it from early morning till late night. The night is getting lighter and lighter in Finland now when the summer solstice is getting closer. Soon our day and the night are equally long. The midsummer feels wonderful and that it’s full of magic. Overall this time – the summer birth – is full of magic. It is full of life and light and positivity. At once our land is extremely light hearted. There is a saying that we have “kevättä rinnassa” = “spring in the chests”. That’s is when you should visit here! Welcome!

Koivu, birch

Kieloja metsässä, lily of the valley
The national flower the lily of the valley sets the base for this forest in Herttoniemi

Kirsikkapuun kukinta, cherry blossom in Roihuvuori Helsinki

Saniaiset metsässä, fern

Kävelyllä metsässä Herttoniemessä, forest walk

Herttoniemen metsäpolku, path
It’s a pleasure to walk here

Metsää Herttoniemessä, Viikin luonnonsuojelualue, forest

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