“Precision is a national virtue in Finland: as a result, the visitor soon learns the country has 187,888 lakes, 179,584 islands, 5,100 rapids and the one true Father Christmas. As well as a lot of Angry Birds (yes, thank you Finland for this gift to global sanity). Plus the best strawberries in the world.
The Finns make the most of the brief summer months, when up to 20 hours of daylight means a sudden release and rush, and the dazzling growth of trees, flowers, fruit and grain. The long days and white nights bring out a sweet intensity in the berries piled into scarlet pyramids in every marketplace, served with pancakes and cream, and sold at Helsinki’s monumental modernist railway station along with pails of pea pods. There is synergy between city and the countryside, a rus in urbe that reflects the Finnish love of nature: even within the city, woods and parks create an archipelago of greenery where carpets of tiny, twinkling wild strawberries are there for the picking.”