The hills are alive: Enjoying Switzerland’s fresh air and perspective

Anytime you go on a long trip where you’re bouncing from place to place among different countries, destinations can start to run together in your mind. When that happens, it’s time for a change of scenery. 

Photo by Harry Ehrlich.

I love cities, especially European ones, but after Joe and I had trekked through three of them in a week, staying in cramped hostels, we were ready to get out to the countryside. And Switzerland was literally a breath of fresh air.

Lake Geneva

We stayed in the Geneva region with Joe’s cousin, in a tiny town called Saint-Prex, on the banks of Lake Geneva. When we got off at the small station and smelled that sweet air and heard the quiet, we knew this was where we needed to be.

Lake Geneva is hands down the cleanest body of water I have ever seen. On our first full day, we took paddle boards out onto the water, launching them right off a tiny wooden dock.

Lake Geneva in Switzerland
Photo by Harry Ehrlich.

The water was turquoise glass. Fresh and pure, against the backdrop of the snow-capped French Alps. After all the crowded cities, this was the ultimate detox.

Since it was July, we lucked out and saw the mountains in full bloom. It was the type of scene that made us want to skip through fields of blooming wildflowers singing “The Sound of Music.”

Mount Rouge in Switzerland.
Photo by Harry Ehrlich.

Mont Rouge

We hitched a ride to Mont Rouge, a mountain in the Pennine Alps, with an idyllic little town. There was green grass and tall pines everywhere you looked, with spectacular chalets dotting the hillsides.

We worked our way to the base of the mountain and purchased lift tickets to the summit. The lift ticket is almost as expensive as a ski season lift ticket, but the experience of having a day on this mountain is WORTH it. To be one of only a handful of humans on a mountain this large felt special. No one to hurry or rush us along. We could absorb the nature, the sites, the experience, all at our own pace.

As we hiked down the mountain face, we passed large farmhouses with huge herds of cows and cattle roaming. Each one had a comically big bell around their neck.

Photo by Harry Ehrlich.

The hills were alive with the sound of cowbells.

The openness of the summit gave way to the upper tree line, and as we descended we found different pockets of nature. Huge trees, piles of boulders, and vistas forever. I felt small, and yet the mountain also made me feel like I was standing in a very special place. 

Just another reason I love to travel— feeling insignificant and special all at the same time.

Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
Photo by Harry Ehrlich.

Hi guys! I’m Harry and I’m a digital nomad originally from Boston, MA and currently living in Tel Aviv, Israel! I’m a photographer and video creator with a passion for traveling. During my trips, I document each day with hundreds of photos and gigabytes of video footage as well. I hope sharing my photos and Instagram tips inspires you to venture outside of your comfort zone and explore more beautiful places on this planet!

This is the fourth installment of my So Tov series on Europe.