Tuesday, 1st October

Get Together

On Tuesday, October 1st, there will be a gathering at “Portas de Coimbra” in the Bussaco Forest. A bus will be provided from the Hotel. For those who prefer to walk, they may enter the forest from Porta do Luso and choose a path within the forest to Portas de Coimbra (numbers 2 and 9 on the map).

In addition to finger food and drinks, there will be a musical recital of Portuguese guitar played by Mafalda Lemos (youtube video playing with Luísa Amaro, the companion of the late Carlos Paredes, the most prominent Portuguese guitar player).

“[…] Buçaco [or Bussaco] Forest was first settled in the 6th century by friars from a nearby Benedictine monastery; five hundred years later the Bishops of Coimbra took possession of the forest and in 1628 donated it to the Order of Discalced Carmelites. The Carmelite monks promptly built a convent, perimeter walls and the first of the forest’s ten gates, Portas de Coimbra (Coimbra Gate). Two papal bulls were issued during this period: the first, dated 1622, prohibited women from entering the forest; the second, dated 1643, threatened to excommunicate anyone found harming the trees. The text of both bulls is engraved on stone tablets affixed to the outer wall of Portas de Coimbra. […]”

Some links:

Wednesday, 2nd October

Guided walk through the Bussaco Forest

On Wednesday, October 2nd, there will be a guided walk through the Bussaco Forest. A bus will depart from the Hotel. Alternatively, for those who prefer to walk, they may enter the forest from Porta do Luso and select a path within the forest to reach the meeting point: “Wellington’s Olive,” near the Palace Hotel (numbers 2 and 53 on the map).
The tour is expected to last approximately two hours and will include a visit to the convent, relic forest, cold fountain, and the valley of ferns.

Thursday, 3rd October

Conference dinner

On Thursday, October 3rd, the conference dinner will be held at the Curia Palace Hotel. The dinner will be accompanied by a musical recital of Fado de Coimbra.
Here‘s a song from one of the most prominent Portuguese Fado de Coimbra singers, José Afonso.

Exploring the Woods

We hope you find time to visit the Mata do Bussaco on your own. You can discover some suggestions for themed walking trails at:

The Portuguese Nobel Prize of Literature, José Saramago, wrote about Bussaco:

“The traveler strolls through, surrendering unconditionally, and is unable to express anything more than silent astonishment at the explosion of trunks, various leaves, stems, spongy mosses, which cling to the rocks or climb up the trunks and when he follows them with his eyes he finds the tangle of high branches so dense that it is difficult to know where this one ends and that one begins. The forest of Buçaco requires all the words, and having said them, it shows how everything has been left unsaid.” José Saramago, Viagem a Portugal 

[Translated with]

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