There is a saying in Tromsø:
It’s all uphill.
But what goes up, must come down.
We live on top of the hill on Tromsø island and the city centre lays straight below us. I like to walk to town and you’d think this would be easy–all down hill–but there are a lot of challenges along the way.
Cars drive on the wrong side of the road here (for all those left-hand drivers) and trying to flip your head around can be tricky. Most streets don’t have footpaths and so you must walk on the road next to the traffic. When it’s winter-tyre season, before the snow falls the road gets very dusty–the air is so full of dirty you can taste it. Like most Norwegian towns I’ve been to, Tromsø doesn’t have storm water drains, so when it rains, or when the snow is melting in the spring, the water uses the easiest way to run down the hill into the fjord–the roads.
As I have a permanent attachment now, my little one, Lilu, prams can be the biggest challenge when going for a walk. Most Norwegian prams are built sturdy with 4WD wheels and suspension to conquer the ice and snow. However, going down hill with a 10kg baby and a 14kg pram (including all the extra blankets, sheepskin, baby bag etc.) can make your walk turn into a stumble–like trying to control a huge dog that hasn’t been out for a while. My greatest fear is that I’ll trip over and the pram will run away down hill.
My solution: Most people have a leash to walk their dog, I have a leash to walk the pram. I hook the leash onto my belt loop and down we go. It must look a little silly, especially when I forget to unhook it in town and whiplash myself, but for the peace of mind, it’s worth it.
Getting back home is another matter.