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mMalcom Miller tour of Chartesÿ

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Jul 25th, 2013, 01:47 PM
  #1
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mMalcom Miller tour of Chartesÿ

We've just arrived in Paris and.would like to take a Malcom Miller tour of Chartes. how does one arrange this?

thanks,

Joe
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Jul 25th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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You just show up. Go to the official Chartres cathedral website to check on the days and times and what his vacation/touring schedule is.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 04:34 PM
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Malcolm Miller Cathedral Tours:

Daily tours of Chartres Cathedral from Easter until late October are at 12 noon and 2.45 p.m. Not on Sundays, and during the winter occasionally or on request.
E-mail address is [email protected].
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Jul 25th, 2013, 06:39 PM
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Not everyone has a positive take on Malcom Miller's tours - I had an especially distasteful experience on one of his tours - something I considered on his part to be completely un-professional - I'lldig up a couple of long Fodor's threads where others besides moi tells of their abuse by Malcolm - but it is a great tour and the endemic upbraiding of any of his paying clients for offenses they do not even realize they are doing... well will dig up those threads - just to say Malcolm ain't no Saint but he does gives a heck of a great spiel.

Man he must be about 90 now - how long can he continue so yeh go catch a legend, albeit a cranky and self-absorbed one, on his perhaps swan song tours.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 08:06 PM
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I have had mixed experiences with Mr. Miller's tours. One time he was in a terrible mood and kept threatening to cancel the tour if more people didn't arrive as it wouldn't have been worth his (precious) time to conduct a small tour. I did get enough out of the experience to find it worthwhile but had to ignore his whining about many different subjects.

I did return a few years later and took another one of his tours. This time he was very pleasant and led an interesting tour of a very different area. I think he likes to mix up his tours to keep himself interested.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 08:09 PM
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FWIW, I only had one tour with him and thought it extremely informative. I learned things I hadn't learned from reading his book.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 08:59 PM
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I've taken at least a dozen tours with him, plus seen him speak at the Smithsonian and other venues. He can be curmudgeonly, cantankerous, and drunk, but there is no one on earth who knows more about Chartres.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 09:50 PM
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We took his tour maybe 30 years ago. Only the good die young. It is quite interesting how Americans and Brits know of Miller. I would imagine there have been tens of thousand of people who have wanted to make a living by being a toue guide in France and everyone thought being nice was a key ingredient.

But like everyone else we were totally impressed with his vast knowledge and his professorial interest and airs. Yes, one must over look his eccentricities for richness of what he conveys.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 10:49 PM
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I had a tour w/ him several years ago and was prepared for/expected the worst. But he was absolutely fine. I tried to take another tour a couple of years later but he was ill and cancelled that day.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 11:45 PM
  #11
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Many thanks. What's the best to get to Chartes?
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Jul 26th, 2013, 02:05 AM
  #12
 
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I've taken several of his tours over the years and I've enjoyed them all. Didn't experience any abuse although he's reputed to be cranky. This could be part of the legend.

Take the train from Paris Montparnasse to Chartres (about an hour). Exit the train station; look up and see the spires; walk toward the church. Or follow everyone else who is getting off the train.

Don't only go for the tour since Chartres is a lovely town. Stop in the TI (near the church) and get a map and do some exploring.
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Jul 26th, 2013, 06:09 AM
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Best way to Chartres - take the train from Montparnasse station in Paris - go very hour or so - flat fare just buy a return ticket and then you can use it on any train - it goes via Versailles so intrepid travelers can incorporated that into a day trip as well if so inclined.
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Jul 26th, 2013, 07:13 AM
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I took two tours with him in one day in 1981. At the start of the second tour, he asked if anyone had taken the tour earlier that day or the day before. He then tailored the tour to avoid as much duplication as possible.

Back then he was dependent on tips only and it was disgusting to see people stiff him after having such a great tour.
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Jul 26th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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Back then he was dependent on tips only and it was disgusting to see people stiff him after having such a great tour.>

Well the contrary happened to me once - he stiffed me and others - when only about a dozen showed up for one of his scheduled tours after lunch, Malcom, smelling of wine from lunch, haughtily said that there were not enough people and that unless we paid twice the usual price 'I have better things to do with my time". That forever made me despise that arrogant x-xxxx.
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Jul 26th, 2013, 02:07 PM
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PalenQ, I'm sure you had a disappointing experience, but hope your posts don't dissuade people from taking a Malcolm Miller tour. I, and thousands of others over many years, have found his in-depth explications of windows and portals interesting and enlightening.

MM's tours are certainly not "Gothic Cathedrals for Dummies."
Rather than giving broad, general, typical tour guide comments, he tends to focus narrowly on one or two features of the cathedral. It would be good to have some background knowledge prior to the tour for historic context if you're not already somewhat familiar with French medieval history and Gothic architecture. But if you're not, you will still enjoy this unique tour.
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Jul 26th, 2013, 03:51 PM
  #17
 
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There is a variety of experiences with Miller for each individual to decide who do deal with Miller. It is unfair to blame anyone one poster who wrote about their tour with Miller, whether positive or negative, for swaying the OP.

As an adult I like to much as I can and make the decision on my own.
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Jul 26th, 2013, 04:18 PM
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MaineGG - I could not agree with you more - Malcom is a treausre and also IME a jerk - jerks can give great tours and as he has to be 80 or more it could be a last chance - Miller's tours are great even if the man himself IME is less than great.
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Jul 26th, 2013, 05:54 PM
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PQ- I can understand having to pay double (triple maybe) for someone to take you on a tour
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Jul 26th, 2013, 08:47 PM
  #20
 
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When a hotel has vacant rooms or airplane has empty seats they lower the price. It is not like, Miller has to pay for maid service or fuel.
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