Peaceful places through the French, Swiss and Italian Alps

Back in August 2020, I spent a few days in the Alps between Chamonix and the Aosta Valley. I was particularly amazed by the Italian side, which I hadn’t really explored before. I called this post “peaceful places” mostly for the second part of this post, so stick around for that and let me know if you get the same feeling looking at the photos.

Les Aiguilles de Chamonix

While quite touristy (even during covid), Chamonix is surrounded by those beautiful “aiguilles“, which you can admire from the town itself. The one in the middle here is the “Aiguille de Blaitière” (3,523m), on the left the “Grands Charmoz” (3,445m) and “Grépon” (3,482m), and lastly on the right the “Aiguille du Plan” (3,673m). Let me know if you want to go up there :).

Lac Blanc and Lacs des Chéserys (2,133m) loop from the Grand Balcon Sud

A typical hike in the Chamonix area, starting from Tré le Champ le Haut (Strava activity).

Planplaz to Flégère

That day in the afternoon, I went to see the aiguilles from higher up, and walked from Planplaz (2,000m) to Flégère.

Plan Aiguille du Midi and Lac Bleu (2,310m)

The next day, my plan to go to the Italian side failed: my Revolut card wouldn’t work when I tried to pay the €60 fee for a return ticket to drive through the Tunnel du Mont-Blanc (enjoy your premium card from a challenger bank). And obviously, I didn’t have any cash with me (I hate cash). So back down I went.

I decided to stay around Chamonix, and hiked up from the bottom of the Téléphérique Aiguille du Midi to the Lac Bleu. Sadly, the weather didn’t stay nice for long, and the lake never got any bluer than any other lake you’ve seen. I only have a few photos of the woods heading up but here’s the Strava activity to make up for it, if you ever plan to go.

That was it for Chamonix. I know you came for the peaceful places, just scroll down a little more :).

Into the Swiss and Italian Alps, and the Aosta Valley

A loop around the “Col du Bastillon” and the “Col du Grand St-Bernard”

When I read about a place named “Grand St-Bernard”, I had to check it out. Not only did I see some St-Bernards 🐶 but the hike was incredibly beautiful from start to finish. Get over there if you’re in the area.

I don’t know about you guys, but I seriously want a sweater from their wool 🐑

My definition of peaceful:

Courmayeur to Col Sapin (2,435m) to Tête de la Troche (2,584m) loop

My last hike took me to more surrealistic views, and a day of contemplation. Just wow.

Lunchtime looked like this (details of the lunch below).

“This is the way.”

The photos that never made it to Instagram

The food, the dog and the selfies… But really, mostly the food.

And that’s it! Now the real question is: when am I moving the mountains? 🙂

Ciao! 👋


  • Holy cannoli, Emmanuel: you do the words and photos thing, too! But really, really well.
    In all honesty, I looked at your Twitter on account of Reedsy, but I have since been swept away from verbiage into your visuals. (Ha! And the sun just came out here [in New York], as if to affirm my reaction. [Yes; I’m a magical thinker. Teehee.])

    • Thank you Hope! I’m probably better with photos than with words… a bit ironic considering what I do!

  • Not sure if I’m writing this response in the right place, Emmanuel, but I soooo get that propensity-for-photography thing. (And rather don’t like the vibe out there that one has to choose. They’re both great!)
    I’ll let you be for now (it’s late where you are!), but I’ll check back in soon. (For one thing, I wanna know about your camera and lenses.)

    • Happy to tell you more! It’s my first name at 🙂

  • Not sure if you received my email from yesterday, Emmanuel. Anyhow, while searching for tax documents on my laptop, I found a three-page piece I wrote a few years ago about camera lenses (a personal story, not a technical one ; – ). Lemme know if you wanna see it, k?

    And now to find those tax documents… Such fun!

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