Letters From … Boudry, Neuchatel, Switzerland

Welcome to Boudry, Neuchâtel, Switzerland!

The home of my grandparents! How cuter of a place could they have chose 20+ years ago! My first day however, my Snapchat kept showing Boudry, and not Neuchâtel. I was confused that I’d been lied to this whole time, til I pulled up trusty Wikipedia, and learned, Boudry is one of the 6 districts within Neuchâtel! That explained so much! Neuchâtel, with all it’s beauty, is separated into districts that each carry history and culture of their own. On the French side of Switzerland, it was both quaint yet busy with locals taking walks, and tackling daily chores. Boudry however, creates a beautiful backdrop of reminders of the history and time.

 

Not to be creepy, but I watched this family across my window every morning as the little child with his big sister, both yelling and shrieking in French.

We all dream of walking around lost and out of touch with the rest of the world, and on my second or third day, I did just that. After a frustrating morning updating my phone, and trying to sync it to some sort of wifi, I decided to ditch all of it and go for a walk through Neuchâtel. As soon as I left the building, with google maps telling me I’d hit downtown in about 10 mins walking (lol, never in America), my phone shuts off and I was free. Google maps still works, but free.

And then I realized, my French sucks.

I never thought I’d be overwhelmed by history I couldn’t figure out nor find information on.

As ancient as this town is, I was happen to see familiar things like bad parking.

Switzerland reminds me of a childhood story I used to read, Heidi, about a girl who lived in the Alps with her grandfather. I remember about how she used to stare off the mountains and wonder what else was in the world. The story spirals in a different direction after that, but hey, this moment mattered!

Bumping into about 3 people total, I truly didn’t believe anyone really lived in this town.

Entrance to the downtown area of Boudry, Neuchatel.

Related: Letters from South Tyrol, Italy

Where the colors are magical. Fun fact: they call this place “houses of old Boudry” as if the rest of the town isn’t super old already.
Fresh water fountains of Switzerland.

Here is where I decided to brave myself up and order my favorite drink in the world. A cup of tea. I walked up to the entrance as a sweet middle aged woman was flipping chairs, and something about how she approached me, she knew I wasn’t a local (because in my fairytale, all the people in small villages, know each other right!). In a sweet voice, she said ‘bonjour’, and waited for me to casually speak French. Surprising her when I followed up my ‘bonjour’ with “Hi, do you take visa? Dollars?’, she spoke French in a way that was so soothing (this is where I decided I do in fact, like French as a language), and she pointed me across the street and told me there was an ATM and would be able to find some Swiss Francs there. I nodded, super happy for my escape, thrilled I managed to not make my one and only interaction of the day a disaster, and walked all the way back home. It was truly the most enchanting, but unknown conversation I had.
Lol, I almost got lost escaping though.

Tens of little children ran behind me when I took this photo, walking home as school had just gotten out. Turns out Neuchatel is actually a busy city, ya know, once kids are out.
Fun fact: Neuchatel means “New Castle” in French, which is named after all the castles you can casually find around the city. They are usually inherited through generations till this day, and while some can be repurposed to venues or special monuments, some own fancy things like vineyards that make fancy Swiss wines.

 

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