Having the luck of knowing someone who works in the Silicon Valley, I spent a day in Palo Alto and around. Palo Alto is famous as the site where the famous Stanford prison experiment was conducted.
Most of the IT giants seem to have regular buildings with some facilities, but Google seems to own land the size of a small town. There are colorful bikes, catering facilities, and lots of sculptures. One of them (bottom right picture) seems to depict the state of competition in the IT sector. These companies take pride in creating a comfortable environment for employees, installing various table games, colorful couches, free coffee and drinks. “Welcome to communism,” my friend joked.
I was surprised to see that among the major attractions for locals in Palo Alto there is a vintage cinema. We went to see an Audrey Hepburn movie. People brought huge bags of popcorn and were laughing so loud that my ears started to hurt.
Where do tourists go in Silicon Valley? It seems, to Stanford campus. It’s a beautiful campus, with some buildings dating back to the 19th century and others built with style and quiet knowledge that there is no need to show off. The campus somehow beams wealth, but in a modest and simple way. Something unusual – the university seems to have acquired sculptures by Rodin (bottom left picture), which look a bit out of place. Large groups of Chinese tourists were visiting the campus, perhaps imagining how one day they will send their children there.