Couple of weeks ago I played the WTA tournament, which was held on the grounds of Stanford University in California. I have never been to the campus before and I must say this was a great place to start with.Situated in the city of Palo Alto this university is ranked in the Top 5 schools in the US. It was founded in 1885 and became alma mater for many famous people. I don’t know why but I was expecting it to be a very fundamental place where seriousness is in the air. Instead I found it welcoming and warm. I came in summer and there were not many students around so of course it must look very different during the semester. I imagine it to be very busy, students going all the directions, each of them busy with their own schedule. But for now it was a very green, sunny, joyful and relaxed place that makes you want to come back. Such a good feeling! For me it started with the small street we drove to get to the tennis center, and continued with allies, little fountains, bicycle parking… very pleasant atmosphere and on the same time it gave you the sense of being in a place with very high standards.
This university has great facilities and sport is not an exception. Swimming pools, aquatic center, running track, football and soccer stadiums, basketball courts and tennis center – this is by far not the full list of what is situated here. No wonder that Stanford was home for many Olympic medalists.
The impression of diving into green gardens that you get in Stanford is very different from what you see on the way to this place. We landed in San Francisco airport and took a car rental to get to the tournament site. As we drove along the valleys I realized that most of the grass around was yellow. Probably it’s because California does not get enough water. All together it makes an incredible view of blue ocean on one side and yellow hills on the other. Add a deep blue sky without any clouds around. VERY spectacular.
Palo Alto is situated not far from Silicone Valley and it explains the amount of places to stay they have in this area. I have never seen that many motels, hotels and inns in such a small town. Prices are amazingly high so in case you plan to visit I’d suggest to take some time and book in advance.
Downtown is a busy place with many shops and restaurants located in the small area. Everyone would find something to his gastronomic taste here. As for me it seemed a little too crowded if I was to stay long-term, but very interesting to spend couple of days and get a feeling of all the different cultures and characters mixed together.
Unfortunately we did not get a chance to go to the Google headquarters. Always wanted to go there. I definitely will have to me back for this one.
So, guys, in case you are around and would like to get a feeling of how is it to be a part of one of the most famous schools in the world, Stanford is a good choice. I’m sure you’ll like it!