Winter is showing some signs of giving in, to such an extent that we ventured on a picnic to the Nautela rapids some 15km from downtown Turku upstream the river Aura at Lieto.
The river falls 17m on a distance of about 600m. This stretch and the riverbanks are a precious nature reserve where passage is only allowed on the designated trails. We dared not try those this time of the year, I’m afraid.
In fact, we were meaning to visit the area all last summer but never did so this was sort of a first exploration in preparation for the coming season. I am sure the riverfront by the rapids will become one of our favourite places to stroll around. I can’t wait to return to spot the rare plants and many birds nesting on the riverbanks.
Archaeological research has revealed there were settlements on this site already in the Stone Age some 5000 years ago. In those times, the place was by the sea that has since then been withdrawn because of post-glacial rebound about 20km southwestward.
In addition to a cemetery from the Stone Age, the archaeological findings include some ‘offering stones’ dating from the Iron Age. It will be interesting to spot these ancient monuments when the snow has melted.
There is also a local history museum on the site. In the summertime, the mill from 1806 and the miller’s house will be open for public. And so will the museum built to house an extensive amount of archaeological and local history items and publications donated by a local collector Mr Lauri Nautela.
From mid-June to mid-August, you do not even need to bring your picnic lunch as you will find coffee and snacks at the summer café of the museum. I promise to take you to the rapids again as soon as nature is fully awakening to spring.