While staying in Narvik Norway, my kiwi mate and I decided to walk to the ski hill the overlooks the city to ride the cable car to the top of the hill to take in the supposed amazing views of the city and surrounding area. Apparently on a clear day you can see the Lofoten Islands from the top. We asked directions from the front desk of the hotel we stayed at and were told that it was about a 20 min walk to the base of the ski hill. The receptionist did not mention that it was straight up hill and unless you had boots that had amazing grip to climb a steep hill of ice it would be far smarter to take a taxi. This would’ve been helpful to know.
So we set off. My kiwi friend is sensible and wearing snow boots. I, however; was not as bright and had on a pair of hiking shoes. Shoes meant for hiking, not ice climbing. So we start up this hill, and its slick, but not yet that steep and people are coming down the same path and they seem to be having no problem so I figure it’s ok going up. Later we would realize that all the locals had these traction devices that fit over their shoes making it easy and safe to walk on ice. So the road is getting steeper and I’m slipping every couple steps and starting to really get freaked out. Because if it is this hard going up, how the eff am I going to get down? Back in 2008 I had a bad bike accident that left me broken and bruised and had it not been for wearing a helmet I would seriously have sustained a brain injury. Ever since I’m very nervous about any chance of hitting my head on a hard surface. Climbing this hill of ice completely un-nerved me. But, we were literally trapped. I didn’t want to go on, but was too scared to turn around so we attempted to unsuccessfully call a taxi. No luck. So the next safest option was to walk in the street because at least the street was bare in most parts.
So we’re coming around a corner and a Somali woman is coming down with a toddler and a baby in a stroller. She’s coming down the hill that’s a complete ice rink. And the toddler slips, and pulls the lady down with him. As she falls her hands lose grip on the stroller and the stroller starts sliding down the ice into the road. To the exact spot I was walking up. It literally rolled into my out stretched hands. The woman is looking panicked, the toddler is crying and he’s bitten his lip so he’s bleeding. And it’s so icy that they can hardly get up. And we can’t get to them to help as it’s so damn icy. So, eventually she is able to get up and helps the toddler up, and we help them across the street all the while I’m pushing the stroller and this super cute chubby baby is staring at me like “who are you lady, and what’s happening?”
We get them to a safe area, and then we say our goodbyes. And I’m immediately thankful we didn’t turn around. Because if I hadn’t continued on and been walking in the street at that exact moment who knows what would’ve happened to that baby. The stroller would’ve for sure ran into the street, and quite likely into oncoming traffic, if it didn’t tip over when it went off the sidewalk. So sometimes, you end up being in the exact right place at the right time, even though seconds before that was literally the last place I wanted to be. I’m not overly religious, but I think it’s a hell of a coincidence that we found ourselves in that exact spot.
So we eventually made it to the base of the ski hill. Only to find out that the last trip up the cable car was 5 min before we got there. And that the ski hill was closed the following day. So we had an employee call us a taxi because there was absolutely no way I was walking back down that hill of ice. And we never did get to find out it the view was as amazing as we had read. The End.