While not as beautiful as the gorgeous shop in Buenos Aires, the Desnivel bookstore in Madrid was awesome in its own right. Like time travelling back to another era, or perhaps into Harry Potter’s world.
Even so, it was the merchandise that really made it special. Imagine a bookstore 100% dedicated to a single subject. Specifically, in this case one of my favourite subjects, mountains. From children’s books to art books, from tales of high adventures to technical manuals and route guides, topo maps and inspirational posters this place is a mountain lovers dream. Cycling, kayaking, trail running, skiing, rock & ice climbing, for a bookworm-mountaineer it was paradise.
A Spanish speakers paradise, that is. There was only one small shelf unit of English-language materials. Nothing on it met our needs for rock climbing guidebooks, however. Still it was a lot of fun poking into the nooks and crannies. While I was on the upper level Duncan discovered hidden treasure in the basement clearance centre. A climbing guide for Andalusia, or southern Spain.
I shared my enthusiasm for the bookstore with the two young people as we were paying. After chiding them for the lack of English I mention we were “from the Rockies in Canada”. He said he wants to get to Squamish, which from a Spanish perspective is the Rockies so I wasn’t about to say, “That’s the Coast Mountains”.
I went on to explain that at home we have no access to such dedicated bookshop. They looked at each other and said something to the effect of “Let’s move!”.
So maybe they’ll set one up.