I arrived to Norway in the middle of winter, snow was on the ground and and the weather was bitter cold, with temperatures in the 20s — quite chilly for this California girl. The temperatures were perfectly fine in the cozy confines of the Hurtigruten ship that I was cruising on for the week, but posed a chilling problem with the outdoor excursions everyday.
I had always believed that reindeer were fictional characters who pulled Santa's sleigh, delivering gifts to all the nice girls and boys. I never really gave much thought to Rudolph being based off of a real animal, one that actually roams the snow covered mountains of Northern Norway.
You could hear the dogs before you could see them. As they began to pick up the sound of our footsteps the barks got even louder. It was a welcome like no other I had ever received - a beautiful, howling chorus.