It isn't all that dark, really; more of a silvery twilight from October to March. The area is bounded on the north by the absolute top of the world, with the chill Baltic lying to the south—and in between live all those people who have figured out not only how to survive the winters but also how to make them fun. Scandinavians are vigorous, tending toward the blond and beautiful; they glow from the good life, which begins with cold clean air and is followed by such comforts as reindeer steaks, saunas and heimebrent, a drink that sets the blood afire. Through Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland the Scandinavians hunt, sail, play fierce hockey and win most of the Olympic Nordic gold medals. They also use all their ice: sailing and skating over it, dogsledding and skijoring all across it and fishing through it. Centuries of this sort of thing have produced a special look, exemplified by the sparkle of Miss Norway, Pia Walker (right) and the people and places on the following pages. For wintry comfort and fashion, the girls of the Northland bundle into the rich, thick furs of the region—wolf, fox and mink, designed by such solid Nordic names as Birger Christiensen of Denmark and Ivan Petersson of Sweden and Turkis Fur-Lyx of Finland, and into sheepskin by Lee and Wult Simon of Norway. But a visit to Scandinavia can uncover more than the glowing beauty and wintry health of the people—there is above all the country itself. On page 54 staff Norskman William Johnson begins his cold, happy story.