Above: Curia Palace Hotel.
I understand last we spoke, I was somewhat kitten-like in my excitement to tell you about a severed head, but no more. This is different. Hear me out. I have a story up on Strange Horizons this week. It’s about depression and spa treatments and sleep and if there was ever a darling I absolutely refused to kill, this is it.
The hotel in this story, and the perpetual drowsiness of it, was inspired by a very real place: Curia, a spa town in central Portugal boasting little more than a hotel, a park feat. a casino, and an art déco gas station I’d love to show you via Google Street View. (Obviously I’m being dramatic, three buildings do not a town make, but stay with me here.)
Built to accommodate the wealth and finesse of the 20s, this is a place I’ve come to associate with bittersweetness and paddle boats, roadtrips in my mother’s jeep and crumbling Berliners. Like most things that catch my eye, it’s, huh… dead now. The hotel takes guests, but I have never seen any in the gardens. The park is populated by Koi, some wandering ducks, and the occasional throng of old men playing cards. No sign of the bustling summer crowds my mother remembers from the 70s and 80s. Overall, a fine place to rest your head. I invite you to do just that, over at the Strange Horizons website. I hope you find it soothing.
(As usual, more photos below!)