The day after the atrocities in Oslo and on the island of Utøya, we were mercifully still unclear about the scale of the murders and enjoying a rainy day on our first port of Stavanger, specifically the old town with its white buildings and neat gardens. The wooden houses of this conservation area represent the largest such settlement in northern Europe, a rare survivor, wood not proving a durable building material in an age of open fires. The area is uncommercialised and made even more attractive by the liberal use of potted plants and window boxes. No-one was about, the residents doubtless absorbing the dreadful news. The national despair pervaded all Norway for the two weeks of our travels. Such a lovely country and the slaughter of the innocents.