It doesn’t happen often, but when we get even a dusting of snow in Seattle the whole city shuts down. There are a lot of hills, not many snowplows, and until recently they didn’t sand (let alone salt) the roads. In Trondheim the snow and the ice are inevitable, and initially intimidating, parts of winter.
When the snow first started falling it was wet and messy, and it didn’t stick around for long. This resulted in sidewalks that were sheets of ice. Despite having shoes with decent traction I found myself timidly tiptoeing around and slipping on even the slightest inclines. Like cross country skiing, walking on ice seems to be an innate skill that Norwegian are born with.
While I’ve heard that any Norwegian under 50 wouldn’t be caught dead in them, yaktraks (below) were my savior! Desperate for a run but not wanting to resort to the dreadmill, I decided the give them a try. Not only were they key to running around the hilly neighborhoods of Trondheim, but they also served as training wheels of sorts. They gave me a bit of extra confidence and I can now proudly say that I am able to navigate the icy sidewalks (walking, not running) without them! The key is to lets yourself slide a bit, stay loose, and just go with it.
Eventually it did get colder, temporarily at least, and the ice was covered by snow, turning the city into a winter wonderland. While the darkness didn’t seem to bother me (in the afternoons at least, morning are always hard for me), a coating of fresh snow made the evenings seem that much brighter.
In Seattle snow is stressful. In Trondheim snow is peaceful.