|This route sorta, kinda shows our route today.|
The drive through the countryside is beautiful and peaceful and rarely interrupted by a town. Our first goal is - surprise - another dolmen. It's not on the driving tour, but there is a symbol on our detailed Michelin map of the area. Score! We found it.
|No idea what this is, but it looks like it's carved by humans, not glaciers|
Onward to St. Remy la Varenne to look at a church and priory.
|Chained monkey on entrance gate to the priory - what does it mean?|
|A carving on the priory wall|
We next drive to St. Maur to look at some old abbey buildings, but alas, it's private property.
Next stop, another church in Le Thoureil. And lunch. Not much shade provided by these hacked up trees. We can't understand them, but the whole of France seems to like them pruned this way.
|Crazy French Trees|
|lunch with a view of the river|
|the church at Le Thoureil|
Also not open, but there's a nice spot to sit behind the church overlooking the river. It might seem like we're striking out, but in fact, the drive has been beautiful with views of fields, the Loire River and small towns.
|This tractor was working in the fields next to the vineyards that were next to the dolmen.|
One more try at a church, a priory in a small hamlet. This church is under restoration.
We cross the river at Gennes once more and head toward Beaufort-en-Vallée - site of a ruined castle. We arrive and park behind a large church in what seems to be the center of town.
|funeral hearse and mourners at front of church. Poster for a circus coming to town.|
The church has lots of interesting features on the outside which is all we are able to take in this time.
Back at the square, there's a woman on a tall pedestal the piques my curiosity.
The ruined castle is above us on the highest point in town.
|Clark and a ruined castle|
And finally, I have to be cajoled into joining the last adventure of the day - visiting the Chateau de Montgeoffroy (pronounced monzhefwah).
The Chateau was purchased in the 17th century and in the 18th century, the old U-shaped castle was razed, except for the towers and chapel. A renaissance style pleasure palace was built in its place.
|chapel on left, and tower from original castle|
|Tower and moat are original, Renaissance palace in back.|
The rooms are filled with lovely pieces of family furniture and dishes in part because the chateau and its owner were saved during the Revolution. The grandson of the mistress was friends with Georges Danton, one of the leaders of the Revolution. This association spared Montgeoffroy and its owner from damage and death during the Revolution. However, in the chaos following the Revolution, called the Reign of Terror, Danton was beheaded and the grandson likewise.
An exhausting day to be sure. After all, we explored a small area near us and checked off a dolmen, multiple churches, a ruined castle and a château. Not a bad day's work.