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Gourdon: A Hidden Gem on the French Riviera

When one thinks of the French Riviera, they will think of topless women, fancy cars, and kilometers of sandy beaches. Although true, there is a lot more culture and history in the South of France than some (mainly Parisians) might otherwise think. Gourdon is exactly what you imagine when you think of a Medieval French village. It was strategically built on top of a hill to defend it’s citizens during times of war. With only one entrance, this small village hosts one of the best panoramic views in the South. On the clearest of days, you can see the island of Corsica with the naked eye. Gourdon is known for their specialty items such as their fruit shaped candles, fresh goat cheese and seasoned ‘saucisson’. Although not nearly as popular as St. Paul de Vence, Gourdon has become a very popular destination for bikers, hikers, and anyone else who desires to escape the busy coastal cities. But don’t come here just to grab a quick coffee, because that will cost you a small price of €10.50! Please share your hidden gems of the French Riviera in the comments section!











Welcome to Nice, France

Enjoy some of my newest photos taken from atop of the world famous Castle Hill in Old Nice. Click here if you are interested about the history of Castle Hill!







Please follow my blog for more pictures from around the world =)


Glowing Grafitti

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog post about the history of our ancient French monastery that has been passed down in our family for several generations. Click here if you want to read about it more and also look back and see the images I took of the Milky Way as well. The images below were taken on the same night. After dinner we decided to build a camp fire from scratch using one of the best fire starters, pine cones. We laughed, we drank, we then played with sticks of burning fire and acted like we were in the movie Highlander. Anyways, please like, share, and comment if you enjoyed these sweet pictures!



Colorful Cannes


This is certainly one of my favorite shots I’ve taken since I’ve lived in Cannes. It really shows the energy and the dynamism of this condensed city on the French Riviera. The church on top of the hill is called the Notre-Dame de l’Espérance. It was completed back in 1648 and sits upon the Suquet hill in old Cannes. With a short trek up the hill, anyone can enjoy a breathtaking view of one of the most famous cities on the French Riviera. I have already been up there several times just to escape the busy lifestyle deep in the city. Click on the picture to see it in all of it’s glory. Please like, share, and comment if you enjoyed this post!


Rue d’Antibes: The World Famous Shopping Street in Cannes

Rue d’Antibes is the name of one of the most recognized shopping streets on the French Riviera. It houses some of the most luxurious brands in the world, but also has the very French, authentic shops to satisfy all sorts of different people that come visit. Located in the heart of Cannes, it is certainly one of the ‘must see’ things for tourists. It is walking distance to major landmarks such as the Palais des Festival, the Carlton Hotel, and ‘La Croisette’ which is a gorgeous boulevard that runs parallel to the Mediterranean Sea. I purposely took these pictures late at night because I wanted to highlight the beauty of the architecture. In fact, it is extremely rare to see the Rue d’Antibes this empty because it is usually bustling with hundreds of people during the day. Please like, share, and comment if you enjoyed this post! I will respond to every comment 🙂


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The Milky Way from an Ancient French Monastery



These photos were taken during July of 2012 without any sort of professional equipment, simply a Nikon D90 and a 10.2 mm lens. Of course, with a little bit of PhotoShop, the pictures came to life. As an amateur photographer, I was beyond excited with the results.

This location where the photos were taken, as we call it ‘Crouzet’, is located in the outskirts of a small village called Aubenas, France. The larger geographical area it is located in is called Ardèche. We roughly own 50 acres of the land around the building. Although it is hard to pinpoint exactly when it was built, it is believed to be around as far as the 14th century. During it’s long history, it first served as a monastery and then was later bought out and turned into a silk mill. The owner of the silk mill had two daughters and they happened to marry two Ricard brothers back in the early 1900s, which is how it fell into my family. Our tradition is to hand Crouzet to the first born son, and believe it or not, the first born child has been a boy in the Ricard family tree for as far as we know, and as the second born son, I am a little bit bitter about this tradition.

Today, we use this place as a vacation home during the Summer where we usually invite friends and family to stay with us for a week, or longer. Without TV or Internet, it truly is a therapeutic escape from life. I have retained some of my best childhood memories from Crouzet, and I hope to do the same for my children and grandchildren.

Please like and share if you enjoyed the blog post and the pictures. Comment if you would like to see more images from this magical place.


Sunset in Cannes

These photos were taken on January 31st, 2013.

It was a rare 75 degree day in the middle of winter but I took full advantage of the warm weather by hanging out on the rocks overlooking the water with my shirt off. Believe it or not, my skin was a light pink color the next day. Who would of thought it’s possible to get a minor sunburn in January in the south of France? Anyways, I hope you enjoy these images and please share with your friends and family!






The 68th Annual Celebration of the Liberation of Cannes

It was just another night coming home from practice. While bumping my head to ‘Discotheque’ music on FUN radio about to turn into the street to head towards my parking structure, I then noticed an extraordinary amount of people. Picture the 4th of July in Newport Beach, but then add 2,000 more Italians. Yes, it was nuts. After 25 minutes of sitting in traffic within the city, I finally got to my parking structure. I ran to my room to shower and to grab my camera because something was going down. I was very fortunate to experience this because it was honestly breathtaking. Check out some of the pictures below!





The Liberation of Cannes is simply the day that French, American, and British forces, but mostly American forces (joke) took over control from the Germans during World War II. This celebration is not to be mistaken with Bastille Day which occurs on July 14 to celebrate the storming of Bastille which was used as a symbol of the uprising of France back in 1789.

I hope you enjoyed the post and I will gladly send you the original versions of the images if you wish.

Ben Ricard

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