In Lisbon, one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations, Janina and Alastair discover the cultural richness of a city with a fascinating and complex history of past glory and slave trade. Janina visits the National Tile Museum and Alastair finds out how the tiled walls of the city have become the most innovative form of street art in the world. In one of the city's fado clubs, they finally enjoy the typical Portuguese music sung by seafarers who dreamed of returning home.
Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, has a rich history and a troubled recent past. It is the most diverse Arab city with 18 different religions. In the 20th century it was known as the Paris of the East, but that changed with the 15-year civil war that started in 1975. Janina and Alastair discover that art plays an important role here when they visit the Maronite church high in the mountains, with a view of the entire city. The art in the city reminds us of the past, but also embraces the future. The cultural life and cultural wealth of the city play a major role in the complex history and identity of this city.
This will be the most adventurous trip of Janina and Alastair. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is a true mix of the old and the modern. In this authoritarian state, cultural life is quite controlled, so this is different from a 'normal' city trip, but the city does everything it can to become a popular destination. Oil revenues have twice influenced the architecture of the city. The result is a city with 19th-century buildings reminiscent of Paris, but also shiny new structures. They end their journey with a performance by Mugham, the traditional folk music from Azerbaijan.