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  • I had driven past this town many times. The RN10 (Route Nationale 10) is a ribbon of tarmac forming part of the link between Paris and Bordeaux, and like most major routes, is mostly featureless.

    Little can be seen of Vivonne as you head south, and my only glimpse had been filling my car with 'Gazoil' at a Super U which was reached from one of the two exits for the town. The impression was of a small, single road town, running parallel to the motorway, but the size of the Supermarche only hinted at something more.

    One afternoon, I was heading north and needed so pick up some food for the evening, so I decided to turn off at the southerly exit for Vivonne, and drive through the town to see if it really was as small as I had imagined.

    I could not have been more wrong! It turned out to be a stunningly pretty town, with a bustling high street, and sleepy side roads. This photo was taken looking across the River Vonne from the Parc de Vounant towards the Bureau de Poste.

    Had I not followed my instinct, I would never have discovered this hidden Gem.
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