Palace Hotel do Bussaco -frightening beautiful

Quitshhhh … the entrance door opens with a very unpleasant noise and the wind blows the heavy brocade curtains from the windows. Quitshhh.. once again, the door hits the wall and a wave of wet air with the smell of green muscles enters the room. I wake up, where am I now?

Bussaco Palace Hotel
Bussaco Palace Hotel

My elbows are almost pierced in a piece of wood and my left foot is numb. Slowly,  slowly I begin to remember! I am sitting in an armchair. Outside I hear the torrents of heavy rain that try to sneak into my room. I get up quickly but I’m not closing the window first just running to close the entrance door … before any ghost comes in … or it is almost too late, the ghosts are dancing around me without seeing them – but I feel them. I still lock the entrance door with the key, turn it twice – just for sure, and I turn to the window. I look with fear through the window and bend my head carefully over the window sill. An immense mouth of half a lion sculpture and half a dragon spit splashed over me full of water. I get frightened back in the room … where am I? A and yellow light of the veio is half covered with a book – Portugal Travel Guide . I start to remember. Now I know again where I am … but let me start with the beginning .


This morning we woke up in the sunshine of September in the middle of Portugal, on the west coast in a hotel directly at the sea. I went out on the balcony and admired the perfect landscape in front of the eyes.

You want to stay here for a day more, here at sea? It is not like that ? my husband asks.

No! I do not necessarily answer it more jokingly – I’m just as happy as you to visit Bussaco and sleep in the hotel palace in the middle of the national park .

Palace Hotel do Bussaco by day
Palace Hotel do Bussaco by day

Then let’s pack and go – we still have a lot to visit on the way and want to get there soon enough to walk in silence through the immense park surrounding the hotel … you are right … we pack the luggage, I answer while  my eyes turn to the huge beach and the crystalline water of the sea.

A few minutes later I hear my husband bumping into the car … the battery has been discharged, it does not turn on. The battery ? strange? the Radio buzzing a song told me it could not be the battery. 

Get out of the car, push it back and place me at the wheel. But all my attempts to start the car are futile … you do not want to get out of here? it is not like that ? tell the truth ? did you want to ruin the car just for another day at the seaside? 

In such situations I already know how to behave – there is no point in contradicting him, so that it would end up in a battle – best is to play the role that he gave me and to satisfy his pride.

Yes you are right ! I wanted to ruin my car and look that I succed. What you did ? he asked me – did you leave the lights on all night? Probably, I answer. 

But for some time he realizes it can not be the battery – the car does not want to get out of the way! I have to call the car rental agency to come and change it –  So, I go back to the hotel at the reception and ask the receptionist to call her and explain in Portuguese that our car does not start and it is necessary to change it.  She speaks quite a lot, I only understand very few words but I see her face that she is unhappy or worse worried when she closes the phone. What ? what did they say? They said it is Sunday and the only agency that is open is in Porto about 300 km from here – it will take about 4 hours to come.

4 hours ! eternity! he; – 4 hours of seaside relaxation! me; 4 hours lost for nothing; 4 hours of sun and sea – me, Hexe ,tells me my angry husband Hexe? (witch) do you not think that I did that? Hexe answers me once more, and then he does not talk to me anymore – for four hours.

There were 5 until someone came from the agency with a new car and so I went back to the road at 3 o’clock afterwards. We wanted to stop in several places, but we quit and we chose only two small towns on the road. In Luso, the city near the hotel, which is placed in the middle of a huge forest lined up on a hill, we stopped to provide us with something to eat. But on Sunday I found open only a bakery where I took a few cakes .

It startet to get dark in this evening, and the road to the hotel was becoming increasingly bleak.

At one point I noticed that it was not just the evening but a dense fog went down the hills. With the fog lights illuminated, the road appears even more mysteriously … to the left and to the right of the road Mammoth trees with trunks over a diagonal meter and covered with autumn leaves.

Bussaco palace garden with fog

Gruzel-duzel I say to do a little bit of  joke – it’s really scary here… Hexe answers my husband again angry. We arrive at a small car park near the hotel and my husband invites me to go out.Go ahead and ask where to park. Black clouds  darken the horizon, and the fog becomes intense.

A few drops of rain touch my cheek. Quickly, quickly I approached the hotel and looked up.

Honestly – I imagined the hotel as an old palace with sculptures on the walls and small and dark windows but the shock when I looked up I can not describe it. It started to rain even worse, and so I mistakenly entered the courtyard behind the palace – where the servants were probably coming in and the doors were closed. I try in vain to open the gate, nothing, the rain had already drifted to my skin and so I hurry to get back to the car – but the car wasn’t there anymore, the parking lot was empty, what shall I  do now? Scared and wet to the skin finally headed back to the castle again. But where is the entrance ? I surrounded the castle , somehow I will find the entrance. And indeed, after another corner, a few steps led to a patio and an small gate.


Entrance to the hotel

I open it by pushing it with the last powers I have and hiting my husband’s worried face: Where have you been? he asked. I’ve already worried! what else to say to him … that I have not found the entrance, that I am terrified of where we are, that I’m afraid to stay here and under no circumstances will I be able to sleep although I am so tired. But he looks at me with a smile on his face: it’s not that magnificent here! Look how beautiful the walls are decorated and look everywhere candles are lit – how romantic!


Inside Bussaco Palace Hotel

So I kept my mouth shut! I picked it up behind the valet, who was taking my luggage to the room, watching the tail of the eye toward the walls telling history. Paintings with battles and wounded people, dragon and fantasy pictures.

As we climb the stairs from the corner an armor looks at me with phosphorescent eyes … where did we land?

The door of the room opens with a shriek and an unpleasant stench of old furniture meets me. This is your room for tonight, madam … as if it would have said to me: come in and you will not get away alive anymore. Two beds (we can not even sleep together!) A nightstand, a lamp, two armchairs and a mirror. I look in the mirror but I cannot see me.

I remember my husband calling me the whole day: witches … Outside I hear some crows cra, cra …

I sit in the chair and fall into a state of hypnosis – my eyes are heavy, my skin full of goose bumps, I hear that  my husband tells me that he wants to make a tour of discovery through the castle, I can not move, just nod, he understands this as an approval and leaves the room – leaves me alone here …at leaast because of tiredness, fear, I fall asleep…

who wants to see all the photos in the album click here

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