It was July 15 and CHM and I were touring around the French countryside in the triangle formed by the towns of Châtillon-sur-Indre, Valençay, and Châteauroux. The province we were in is called Le Berry, and the administrative département is L'Indre, which is also the name of the river that runs through the area. It's a tributary of the Loire.
It was late in the afternoon and CHM noticed a little château symbol on the Michelin map that was labeled Le Mée. Earlier in the day we had been to see the château and an old chapel full of frescoes in Palluau-sur-Indre and the old abbey church at St-Genou.
We drove along little roads near places called Bel Air, La Presle, and Villegouin, thinking a lot the the time that we might be lost. That was OK, because when you're lost is when you find the most interesting things to see. The unexpected, you know? CHM and I have been lucky to be able to get lost in several parts of France, including one memorable trip to find little châteaux out in the Normandy countryside about eight years ago.
CHM, by the way, is a Parisian who lives most of the time in U.S., and has for nearly 40 years now. He was my boss 25 years ago, when I worked in Washington DC, and he's old enough to be my father. We have become fast friends over the years and I always look forward to his visits.
So there we were exploring the narrow winding roads of Le Berry near the town of Pellevoisin, about 25 miles south of Saint-Aignan. The first thing we came across that indicated we were headed in the right direction — toward Le Mée — was a pretty spectacular crucifix standing at the side of the road. It was on the map, as are so many of these calvaires scattered across the French countryside. I really don't know why they are placed where they are, though.
I've done Google searches for the château du Mée and haven't found much of anything. It was built in the 14th or 15th century, according to various sources. But there's no information beyond that.
We stopped the car on the side of the road near the calvaire. The field of barley along the road had recently been cut, so there was only stubble left. We wee able to walk out into the field and take pictures of the château from a distance.
Looking at the château, you can see how brilliantly white the building stone is. The building must be privately owned — otherwise, more historical information about it would be available. There wasn't even a sign indicating its existence.