Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Lisbon is a stellar city for baked goods.  There's a pastry shop on almost every block.  The pastries are displayed in the window, which caused difficulties for us because we couldn't pronounce them and it was hard to communicate to the counter staff what we wanted to order.  Then it occurred to us to us that we could photograph the pastry we wanted and show the picture to the staff, and this method has worked.  We had the delicious pineapple cake from the other night, and a coffee cake filled with vanilla custard, heart-shaped cookies filled with red jam, and a king cake on January 6th, for the Epiphany.  Everything in the windows looks really appetizing--I want to taste them all! Today I'd like to order the classic Portuguese pastry that's like a custard tart and maybe a few other things that catch our fancy.

Then there are the bakeries--padaria--where you buy bread.  There seems to be one main bread in Portugal, a chewy, crusty loaf that is the same in every restaurant and shop.  We buy this bread at the supermarket, although there's an organic bakery near us called Quinoa that I haven't tried.

This morning, I spent a happy half-hour wandering the neighborhood, photographing pasty shop windows.  Sorry about the poor quality.  I've never claimed to be a photographer. Below, behind the glare, are the famous Pastel de nata

We tried the one pictured below.  It's chocolate with a hint of dried fruit.  Very tasty.

OK, this picture is upside-down. I'm sorry.

Our last day in Lisbon!  Today we're going to attempt the Museu da  Arte Antiga, one of the major attractions we haven't seen yet.  Tomorrow will be horrible, as our flight leaves Lisbon at 07:15.  I have arranged a car to pick us up at 04:45--let's hope the partiers are out of the street before it arrives.  Then, in Amsterdam, we have barely a 1.5 hour layover.  We'll need most of that to get through passport control, security, and then a 15 minute run to our next gate.  At least there's a priority line at passport control for people with short layovers.  Still, it seems that people often miss their flights in Amsterdam.  During our long layover on our flight here, every few minutes, there'd be the following announcement: "Passengers X and Y, on flight Z to Q, you are delaying your flight.  Immediate boarding please, or your luggage will be offloaded."  I find it hard to believe that the world's tardiest travelers all pass through Amsterdam, so it must be a short layover situation for most of these people.


  1. I hope the Passengers Crabstick don't have to spend the night in the Amsterdam airport.

    I am not well-traveled at all; my international horizon limited to Germany, but speaking as someone who isn't a big dessert-lover, the pastries and cakes there are incredible and not as sweet as the ones here in the US.

  2. bang goes the diet for another day....delicious!!

  3. To live in a land of pastries--divine! I'm more and more jealous of your trip as I keep reading your posts. And the idea of photographing what you want was a genius solution. Hope you make all your flights without much hassle.

  4. Ok, I have added Portugal as a must go spot.

  5. I don't believe I am tasting enough of these pastries vicariously.