It’s currently a scorching 30 degrees in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. We’ve been trying to escape the heat by all means necessary, which would fortunately include a lot of sweets.

Alfama hill in Lisbon Sea breeze at Alfama.

I’m a sucker for sweets so I just had to try the Pastel de nata, a sort of egg tards. The originals come from Antiga Confei­taria de Belém, a chaotic place with long lines of waiting people outside.

Antiga Confeitaria de Belem, Lisbon The chaos at Antiga Confeitaria de Belém.

Fortunately the sweets were very tasty and much better than the Navettes. Lisbon-Marseille 1-0.

Unfortunately the local population is having less sweet days. After three years of financial crisis, the unemployment rate is 18 percent and the national debt a fourth larger than the entire Portuguese economy.

Pastel de nata Pastel de nata.

The sad songs of the Fado follow us anywhere we go, through narrow alleys and old streets. It’s the ultimate expression of saudade, the Portuguese word for a kind of melancholic longing after something or someone that is no longer there.

Even though Salazar is fortunately long gone, the Portuguese people are having a hard time coping with the demands of the European Union, as several government ministers have recently resigned and the political situation in the country is deteriorating even more.

However, time for something sweet to brighten the mood. Next item on the list are Travesseiros, a sort of puff pastry which can be found at Piriquita in Sintra.


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