“I am a man of the forest,” Pekka Vaananen declares as he introduces himself. He’s a rugged looking Finn, with bright narrow eyes and rough skin on his face that shows his age. He smiles broadly and welcomes me to his home.
We’re not too far from Helsinki – about 30 minutes drive – and close to the city of Espoo, but it feels like we could be in the middle of nowhere.
“Just relax,” Pekka says to me in the evening when I ask about the best way to enjoy this area. “The forest doesn’t say you’re guilty of something. Just enjoy the tranquility. There are some values which have been like that forever. It doesn’t change, the people change.”
The morning after visiting Pekka at Green Window, I got out for an expedition on snow shoes with Eventure, another outdoor activity company close to Espoo and Helsinki. Again, I find myself in the forests of Finland. This time it’s in the beautiful Nuuksio National Park which is part of the green belt that surrounds the capital and gives the country’s native animals the ability to roam freely across the land without the interruption of human development.
source: A man of the forest - Finland