When heading for archipelago here in Finland, even for a quick weekend escape, there are a few essentials that I always bring along; My kayak, a mushroom knife and a basket for wild berries and mushrooms.
Pictures of porcini and chanterelle blinking in my eyes we went for a little walk in the forest in Airisto, located in Parainen in the western archipelago near Turku, where we are staying this weekend. Very soon it became clear to us that there’s no hope for finding any kind of mushrooms—no porcini, no chanterelle, no nothing! Wild blueberries you could pick as much as you want, but those we have enough at home.
Our small group of extremely disappointed mushroom hunters started walking back to our weekend apartment. On the way we saw an older gentleman crouching in the woods with his blueberry bucket, greeting us with gentle voice.
We had already walked pass him, once he stood up and called out for us:
– Do you happen to like wild raspberries? he asked.
The man told us about an ocean of wild raspberries just a little walk away from the spot we were standing at.
– Without lying there must be at least a thousand liters of wild raspberries ready for picking, he said.
Of course we had to see this with our own eyes!
The friendly gentleman guided us to a nearby sandpit where to find this hidden treasure. Just after a few minutes walk we arrived to the sandpit and saw it—the man really was telling the truth! A wide ocean of wild raspberries was spreading right in front of our eyes!
It didn’t take too long to forget the big disappointment we faced during our unsuccessful mushroom hunt.
After the first raspberry spot we continued walking, and spotted some movement in the middle of the raspberry bushes. Soon we heard a female voice calling out with a cheerful tone:
– I’ve come to this place for 10 years and I’ve never seen anything like this! she shouted.
An older woman stepped out of the bushes and gave us a tip where to find even bigger berries. I couldn’t help marvelling how kind and helpful the locals were. It seemed like no one wanted to keep this secret ocean of wild raspberries to himself, but was more than happy to share the berries with anyone passing by.
Luckily it was us!
I told her about the blueberry-picking gentleman we met earlier. After all, without him we wouldn’t have had any idea of this ocean of wild raspberries.
– Was he wearing a white cap? the woman asked.
– That’s my husband!
Laughing at the funny coincidence we continued walking, asking the lady to deliver our biggest thanks to her husband who saved our day after an extremely unsuccessful mushroom hunt. A bucket full of sweet and bright red wild raspberries we were able to return to our apartment as happy little berry pickers and continued the day on the beach. Perhaps it’s now time to push my kayak in to the water.
If you ever happen to be around, and if you happen to like wild raspberries as much as we do, with this map you’ll easily find the right spot:
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