Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Other than the bleedin' obvious is there anything else to see and/or do in Chartres?

Other than the bleedin' obvious is there anything else to see and/or do in Chartres?

Oct 15th, 2007, 04:43 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,057
Other than the bleedin' obvious is there anything else to see and/or do in Chartres?

I am planning a trip from Paris to Chartres in mid November. Other than the socking great cathedral is there anything else worth seeing in the area (i'll be going by train so won't have a car).
audere_est_facere is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 04:49 AM
  #2  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,166
Hi A,

Go to www.viamichelin.com and click "local attractions" under Chartres.

We found it to be a very pleasant town for a daytrip.

ira is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 04:56 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
You'll have to miss out on one of the ways I passed a lot of my time in Chartres: finding a place to park.
Padraig is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:18 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Know what you mean Padraig!
We were actually quite disappointed in the cathedral. You couldn't see the maze on the floor for the chairs stuck all over it. Had to buy a postcard to get an idea of what it is like. We didn't find anything else much in the city so having retrieved the car we headed off again to continue our potter through France.
hetismij is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:28 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,523
hi audere,

there is apparently a rather eccentric english bloke who does guided tours round the cathedral several times a week - i suspect he may appeal to you.



we had to pass due to lack of time.

also a museum of stained glass - which we also passed for same reason.

we did have an exceptionally good lunch in the auberge on the corner of the square [to your right as you're looking at the front of the cathedral] which was full of old memorabelia [AKA junk].

No matter how short the time, we ALWAYS make time to eat.

the cathedral looks very walkable from the SNCF station.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:41 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,338
Disappointed in the cathedral? Oh my. The stained glass alone (especially the never-replicated "Chartres blue" is enough to make the trek. Take binoculars so you can really look at those windows--and at the wood carvings around the choir. You can visit the crypt with a tour; get tickets at the gift shop. The old town is interesting, and there's a good view of it from the area behind the apse.

The Malcolm Miller tours are good; he's an expert on the stained glass and the cathedral's architecture.

The maze is covered by chairs because there are services in the cathedral. I think there's one day a week when the maze is exposed.
Underhill is online now  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:42 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,751
The amazing Maison Picassiette is worth a stop.

http://www.thejoyofshards.co.uk/picassiette/index.shtml
cigalechanta is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:46 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,057
The Malcolm Miller tours are good; he's an expert on the stained glass and the cathedral's architecture>>>>>

Is he the eccentric English bloke? I'm starting to like the cut of this fellow's jib.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:49 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,338
Miller is indeed the eccentric bloke; he's devoted most of his life to studying the cathedral and its history. Here's some information from another site that might be useful:

http://www.diocese-chartres.com/cath...tes/guieng.htm
Guided lectures in English with Malcolm Miller
12 noon and 2. 45 p.m. (not on Sundays)
Minimum : 12 participants.
RV in the cathedral at the gift-shop.
Note that, although this is the generic schedule, he sometimes travels on lecture tours and may not be there a certain date.
You gather at the gift shop and just pay him a small fee, memory fails but it was very small like 5€ and absolutely worth it. (not mentioned on this site, I notice, but there will be a sign posted at the gift shop)
Underhill is online now  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:52 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,663
Malcolm is a wine-sotten bum to me.

1- we show up for his advertised tour and then he materializes later stinking of wine (after lunch) and haughtily sizes up the smaller than normal crowd and says "I've got better things to do with my time" unless you make it worth it for me and he then demanded twice as much as his normal fee to continue - which every coughed up.

Besides this unprofessional lousy thing to do many folks of Fodor's have described personal abuse he gave tour members and others he though were impinging on his tour. One group leader said his group had to abandon the tour due to his abuse.

Boycott Malcom Miller as though he can do a good tour, if not drunk, he has shown himself to be a lout undeserving of patronage IMO
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:53 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,338
More from the tripadvisor.com site:

Miller was a British grad student who came to Chartre eons ago to study the stained glass for his thesis and never left -- he has an old half timber house in the town
it is not a 'tour' -- it is a lecture -- he parks the group near a particular stained glass tour and you sit an listen to his talk (using head sets -- the Cathedral forbids open voice tours to keep the volume down -- he speaks into a microphone and people wear headsets) there is a bit of a tour -- one does move to a couple of spots -- but mostly it is a riff on the stained glass
in our tour there were people who had attended the morning 'tour' and were back for more -- he varies his talk -- by positioning by a different window so that one can do both in a day if one wishes
he is quite elderly -- this is something that won't be available forever -- and it is well worth doing -- we dislike tours generally but are very happy we did this one
Underhill is online now  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:56 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,663
The best part of Malcolm's tour was when he was 'reading' the large outside rose window and a group of local schoolkids purposefully buzzed him with their louds mopeds (he claimed) and he got in a verbal shouting match with them - now that's how to encourage kids to do that not discourage them

I note now that he rarely does anything outside.

A despicable man IME
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:57 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,751
Audere, checkout my link.
cigalechanta is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:58 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,057
I am definitely warming to this chap. I have visions of being lectured to by Rowley Birkin QC.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 09:00 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,057
Singing grasshopper (have I got that right?) I have put the mosaic place on the list.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 09:03 AM
  #16  
tod
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
Audere - We hired our car in Chartres so had an overnight stay. This gave us plenty of time to leisurely take in the Cathedral ( and yes, the labrinth was covered in wooden chairs and yes, I was very disappointed) but no matter, we took a small pair of binoculars and zoomed in on those amazing stained glass windows before moving on outside and following a narrow cobbled street down the hill and eventually coming to the river Eure. Walking over humback stone bridges and seeing ancient wash-houses on the waters edge.
It's picturesque and very charming.
Chartres was one of the first urban conservation sites in France and makes Chartres a success story with it's half-timbered houses and staircases called 'tertres' leading down the river.
Take your time in Chartres - you won't be sorry.
tod is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 09:09 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,663
I second the work of Raymond Issadore in his house and garden. Really amazing and amazing it does not get more play for a Chartres sight just as amazing as the cathedral in its own way

Maybe Malcom Miller can abuse folks on tours here as well
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 09:11 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,057
Bob, if he abuses me I'll deck him. Perhaps that's what you should have done.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 09:17 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,523
audere,

sounds as if Mr. Miller's 12 noon tour is the one to take.

you could always come back for more in the pm if you were hooked.

regards, ann

PS - Rowley Birkin QC [or should that be KC?] - who he?
annhig is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 09:21 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,057
Or I could get pissed and go to the afternoon one?

Rowley birkin QC:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=tSMvjk-LOeM
audere_est_facere is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:10 PM.