You should definitely read this magical Twitter story about typewriters and travel

More often than we like to admit, I think, vacations are frustrating affairs: full of missed opportunities, nagging worries, and sunburns. Occasionally, though, the gods of travel smile upon us, and some serendipitous and magical events take place that reaffirm the need to leave your home and country and go a'roaming. Just such an event happened to Marcin Wichary (lead designer and typographer at Medium), who, while looking for the Dali Museum on holiday in Spain, stumbled across a magical, little-known shrine to the typewriter.

What happened next is described in a series of tweets (a truncated version of which we've embedded below), but to understand the impact of Wichary's story you should understand that this is a man who loves typewriters. In fact, that's literally the first sentence of a blog post he wrote titled "What I learned about languages just by looking at a Turkish typewriter." He wasn't planning to visit the museum in question, and didn't even know what was inside when he got there, but nevertheless, Wichary found himself looking at what might be one of the greatest collections of typewriters around. A wonderful accident.

You can read what happened (along with many fantastic pictures of old typewriters) below:

I’m driving from Barcelona to the edge of Pyrenees, but my friend tells me to detour to the little town of Figueres, for the Dalí Museum.

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

As I am walking towards it, I see this sign pointing the other way, saying "Museu de la Tècnica," with a cute gear icon. pic.twitter.com/GH5oFkFfv5

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

I walk and walk. The cute downtown slowly disappears around me. At some point the signs stop talking about the museum.

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

The entrance is so small I could easily miss it. I was just lucky that it was on my exact path.

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

And literally, the first thing that greets me is a Bar-Lock typewriter. A glorious one, with a gorgeous cover… pic.twitter.com/Zui0yh9Uba

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

I check in with an older gentleman, and pay the 3€ entry price. (No donation box as far as I could see?!)

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

I start with the first floor; it is pretty simple, kind of what I would expect from a little regional museum.

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

Second floor is filled with old clocks and sewing machines. It is kind of cool, but I go through it quickly.

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

And then…

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

AND THEN I SEE THIS. I don’t actually have a good photo, but the third floor is five rooms filled with HUNDREDS of typewriters. pic.twitter.com/X4SdYvMUq1

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

At this point, I literally have tears in my eyes. I’m not kidding. This feels like a miracle.

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

Then I type on the first Sholes and Glidden, from 18-whatever-the-fuck. This is where QWERTY started, and I AM TYPING ON IT. pic.twitter.com/28716hR0uf

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

I find the dual Imperial I talked about in one of my Ignite talks. I never thought I would see it in person. pic.twitter.com/slnfUTbSZJ

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

Typewriter for writing music? WHY NOT. pic.twitter.com/hcVi5F7YNG

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

HOLY SHIT WOODEN SPACEBAR. pic.twitter.com/0Gb1c0MeHT

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

A crazy rare (two copies!) Hansen writing ball using the Moon alphabet, an alternative to Braille. pic.twitter.com/XATQZfRpNv

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

WHAT IS THIS IS EVEN, AND WHY DO I FEEL IT IS SENTIENT. pic.twitter.com/lnFk5LgskO

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

Whatever it is that you care about, I hope you get to experience the kind of discovery that I did today.

— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) October 27, 2016

So there you have it. If you're ever lost in a small Spanish town in the mountains and you see a sign post to a mysterious museum you've never heard, you must immediately visit. Presumably there never was an actual typewriter museum, but only some Harry Potter-esque Museum of Requirement that reconfigures itself to fit visitors' deepest desires.


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