I have recently been in San Francisco, and taking advantage that the Pisuerga passes through Valladolid, as they say, I decided to stop for a moment in my touristic desire to photograph as many locations as possible, to set foot in Cupertino, the location of Apple's headquarters, and how could it be otherwise, take a look at that spectacular giant ring called Apple Park.
I come to tell you what my experience has been, and in turn I remind you that as soon as we set foot in Spain, we were talking at length about it on our weekly Podcast of News iPhone.
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Apple Park, the dream of Steve Jobs
In April 2017 the works were completed and the chosen employees would become part of the integrated team within the Apple Park, a large circular warehouse of around 260.000 square meters that includes offices and laboratories for more than 12.000 employees. In fact, the project was started by the late Steve Jobs, who was unable to see one of his most outstanding works completed. He himself addressed the team of Norman Foster (architects of Apple Park) and laid the foundations for what would be his headquarters, the largest and ever dreamed of by Apple in the city where it was born.
How could it be otherwise, the interiors of the Apple Park were in charge of Jony Ive, one of the right hands of Steve Jobs and until recently the person in charge of the most revolutionary designs in the history of Apple, until he went into the background in this new era led by Tim Cook that is bringing so many smiles to investors.
The location of the Apple Park also coincides with the location of the advanced products headquarters of Hewlett Packard (HP for friends), turned into rubble in 2014 when the Apple Park mega project began. For the elaboration of this spaceship, Apple has needed around 6 kilometers of glass with views to the outside and of course to the enormous interior garden that it houses. This is made up of fruit trees at the request of Steve Jobs, who grew up near apricot fields, and especially because Silicon Valley was little more than a fruit field before the explosion of technology.
Taking an hour detour to visit Apple Park
Let's say that the Apple Park is not exactly on the outskirts of San Francisco, it is about 80 kilometers from Union Square, one of the most nerve-centered points of the big city. If we add to this the exhausting traffic, we find a journey of up to an hour on some occasions to get from the center of San Francisco to the Visitors Center of Apple Park, in Cupertino. And this is where a cautious person is worth two, I recommend that you book an appointment if you have thought, and this is where your first disappointment may come.
As expected, it is not possible to visit Apple Park itself, Appel has designed a hybrid Apple Store right in front of Apple Park that combines a cafeteria, an exhibition hall, a terrace overlooking Apple Park and a store, all in one. The Apple Park Visitors Center has a good parking area reserved for users of the store, so as a general rule you will not have any problems getting there or finding parking. My recommendation is that you arrive early and take the opportunity to walk around there before your appointment. I took the opportunity to try to take a look at the model of Apple Park that they have on display at one end of the store and go up to the terrace overlooking Apple Park, where I got the second disappointment.
The trees that surround Apple Park are huge (like everything in the United States of America…) and to add INRI, Apple Park itself is on a kind of hill. All this together means that the huge construction cannot be seen from the road that surrounds it, so much so that if it were not for the browser you would not know that you are next to Apple headquarters. In short, these are the "disappointing" views of Apple Park from the Visitors Center.
At this point we return to the store area that they have enabled where we find exclusive products from that Apple Store. As a general rule they have mugs, hats and other types of souvenirs, however, the day I went you could only find t-shirts (in a few sizes because the fans of the brand took them five by five), shopping bags, and little plus. A pity, because I would have really liked to get a cup. On the other hand, and as expected from Apple, these souvenirs have prices according to the company, about 40 euros for the shirt, and about 25 euros for the mug.
We decided to finish the visit as the canons dictate, buying an Apple Watch Series 7, an iPhone 12 Pro and a couple of t-shirts, I couldn't leave there without a gift for our colleague Luis Padilla.
Is it worth the visit?
This is something you should consider on an individual basis, especially when you consider that the views of Apple Park are somewhat disappointing, and although the coffee is good, it is still not worth traveling an hour to have a coffee in an Apple Store, where By the way, the hand soap smells like a lollipop. That which, If you are a fan of the brand or you are especially excited about it, it never hurts. Especially if we take into account that you can buy certain details (such as t-shirts, mugs, caps... etc) that are sold exclusively in this store, a kind of "I was here" and that they take away the dance.
I would probably do it again, in fact it was something I had planned, so it didn't alter my travel plans, in your case you will have to decide for yourself. At least I can say I was as close as a normal person can get to Apple headquarters.