I ended up getting sent to the Tromsø airport by a workman.
My short journey to the bus stop was timed so all I had to do was to wait for bus no. 42 to come. A slew of heavy vehicles salting the road and clearing the snow however, meant that a diversion was put up just at the junction I was waiting just about a minute later. To my horror, the bus I was supposed to be taking went merrily on its way in another direction as the workmen waved the vehicles to the left instead of straight.
Panicking, I considered walking back to the hotel – any hotel! – to ask for a cab, until I ran into a workman standing at that same junction. He didn’t know English too well, but we spoke the universal language of gestures and a flurry of hand signals later, my luggage was loaded into the back seat of his work car (complete with an orange siren) and off we went to the airport.
During the short journey, I learned that his shift lasts 14 hours today because of the snow storms of the past few days – a storm into which I had actually flown directly when I arrived.
I wish I could have told him just how grateful I was for that impromptu ride, but all I could say was a multitude of ‘thank-yous’, to which he simply replied, “It’s my fault you’re stranded. It’s the least I could do.”