Neuchâtel (which means "New Castle", in a combination of German and French) is a medieval city on the shore of Lac de Neuchâtel. It is caught between the Jura mountains behind the city and the Alps across the lake, to the east. The castle was first built in 1011, and the city has seen a considerable amount of history since then.
It was to this old city that my parents moved my family to (me at age five) from suburban New Jersey. We spent most of the year we lived there exploring the city and traveling around the country, taking advantage of the exotic land laid before us. It would be naive and ignorant to say that living there had little effect on me. The most important thing I learned, perhaps, as a five-year-old, was that there is an entire world beyond the American shores, and it gave me the ability to understand and appreciate other perspectives.
We moved back to New Jersey after spending just about one year in Neuchâtel. I wouldn't return for fifteen years. Coming back was a very bizarre feeling; I would be walking along a street, with everything around me completely foreign, then all of a sudden something small would send an incredibly sharp and acute sense of memory and nostalgia to my mind. When I walked back to the apartment building and neighborhood where I used to live, I felt my misty and distant five-year-old memories suddenly become vivid, sharp, and immediate.
These pictures are from my first return to Neuchâtel in fifteen years (April 2010).
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