Spoiler: Portuguese infernos are rather pleasant.
Some are named inferno and dramatically describe incredible cliff formations on Portugal’s shores.
The other infernos refer to the mental pain you are going through when 1) trying to limit yourself on Portuguese pastry and 2) choosing a decent restaurant serving seafood.
We had all of that on our two day trip to Sintra. To get a break from Portuguese palacemania, we balanced out sightseeing with nature’s destructive forces and food.
There were fantastic cliffs at Inferno da Roca and Cabo da Roca, followed by Sintra’s fantastic sweet creations and a decent dinner in fishing village Cascais.
First things first.
FAMOUS SWEETS OF SINTRA
As you know by now, Portugal is fancy land for palaces and pastry.
It just so happens that Sintra, World Heritage site for landscapes dotted with palaces and situated only 30km from Lisbon, is famous for its deliciously soft travesseiro (known as the pillow of Sintra) and the queijada (a cheese-cake in the form of a cup-cake).
Our first buy in Sintra.
Followed by this.
Then there was another pastry shop.
If we are going to continue like this (which is very likely), my teeth are going to rot (soon). Which does not bother me, as, just like an exemplary dentist’s daughter (thanks for saving my choppers, Dad), I have put all mu faith in dentistry.
Yes, you are right. The pastry to the left is actually pastel de nata, the pastry representing Portugal. Which we had as well.
It was also in Sintra that we tried ginjinha de obidos, a Portuguese cherry liquor served in a dark chocolate cup.
After the tasting I wasn’t sure, if I still liked my cherries wrapped as chocolate pralines called Mon Cherie, or in this perfectly edible cup. The beauty about travel is that it always gives me something to think about.
To wash down chocolate and pastry, we had more sweets. Chocolate milk and ginger ale.
Moving on from sweet to rocky infernos.
CABO DA ROCA
This is the westernmost point of continental Europe. (Which is sorta disappointing because the very western-mostest point of Europe is actually in Iceland!)
Do not fall off the cliff.
Living on the edge.
It felt like the very end of land. You could sail out there for days and come back with nothing but water. At this point, the world did feel like a flat disc. Thank goodness for geography in school.
And I liked the flowers more than the rocks.
On a side note, as we enjoyed the comforts of our rented car, we spontaneously decided to visit close-by praia grande. But praia grande wasn’t so grande and rather cold.
We counted about 20 surfers in the water and drove off to Inferno da Roca.
INFERNO DA ROCA CASCAIS
This cliff does indeed look like it gets regularly haunted by infernos.
This is the end. Of Portugal.
See, a rock. How did it get up there?
Towards the end of the day, as we were driving away from all infernos, getting pretty close (that is as specific as I can remember) to Lisbon, we had dinner in Cascais.
DINNER IN CASCAIS
The old fishing village that has turned into a popular tourist destination and expensive residential area, has many touts that lead the way.
But there was light at the end of the tout tunnel.
A tiny, tasty and friendly restaurant with Portuguese food and no one to drag us inside. Relieve.Restaurant: Clo Clo Location: 11 Rua Das Flores, Cascais, Portugal
The starter cheese was fantastic. So was the Portuguese vegetable soup.
And, we were only billed for what we ate. (Yes Portugal traditionally serves starters you didn’t order but if you don’t touch them, they give it to someone else. And if they are fair, they don’t charge you.)
Mum had codfish Portuguese style with rice, instead of typically sliced potatoes.
Tomek had sardines (and a hard time picking the grates from the meat).
I had sea bream with veggies.
Did the day end with dinner. No. We are in Portugal. Forget palaces. Portugal is pastelaria land.
My personal inferno.
This local pastry shop/bakery in Cascais is a good place to start yours.
Name: Sacolinha Pastelaria
Location: Avenida Gaspar Corte Real 126, Cascais, Portugal
Please share your secret, if you are able to resist pastry display counters filled with crispy, fresh, soft and sweet goodies.