Guttetur til Paris

Hver høst samles testosteronet i en europeisk storby, og årests guttetur gikk til Frankrike. Nærmere bestemt Paris.

Jeg reiste ikke med den vanlige gjengen dette året, men hadde fått innpass i en blåturtradisjon via Thomas. Ingen, bortsett fra arrangementkommiteen, visste hvor vi skulle. Ettersom jeg var det sjette hjulet på vogna visste jeg hvor vi skulle. De fem andre turistene (Thomas, Anders, Murad, Eirik og Torstein) kom ikke før dagen etter, så jeg hadde planer om å leke turist alene den første dagen i Paris.

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Jeg sjekket inn på St Christopher’s Inn Gare Du Nord, et hostel fullt av partykids født på midten av 90-tallet. Før jeg ruslet ut i høstsolen nøt jeg en digg burger og en iskald pils på Belushi’s, baren som er tilknyttet St Christopher’s Inn.

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Hostellet ligger et steinkast fra Montmartre, et natrulig valg for ettermiddagsturisme.

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The word Montmartre is translated to mean «mountain of the martyr» and was derived from the martyrdom of Saint Denis – the bishop of Paris – who was decapitated atop the hill in 250 AD.

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På toppen av den 130 meter høye jordhaugen, Paris’ høyeste punkt, ligger Sacré-Cœur.

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Politiet måtte (av ukjent grunn) fjerne en av gjestene med makt.

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På varme kvelder samler parisere og turister seg i trappene nedenfor basilikaen for å nyte utsikten og de lokale gatemusikantene. Denne kvelden var ikke noe unntak.

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Kveldens underholdning sto César og hans tyske venninne for. En lokal rapper dukket også opp.

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Lokale gründere sørget for kald (og dyr) drikke til turistene.

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Paris er ikke den billigste byen å drikke pils i, så det kan være svært lurt å vandre litt rundt i det området man ønsker å tilbringe litt drikketid i.

Jeg hadde en time å slå igjel etter Montmartre før jeg skulle være med på en guidet tur med utgangspunkt fra Notre-Dame. De fleste restaurantene i dette området tar skyhøye priser for en liten øl. Faktisk helt opp mot €15 for et glass. På Polly Maggoo, en av naboene til €15-stedene, kostet glasset €5. Fantastisk sted.

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Senere på kvelden møtte jeg turguiden Robin og en gjeng turister utenfor Notre-Dame for Ghost and Mystery Walking Tour.

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This two-hour stroll through the dark heart of Paris takes you along winding lanes to explore the Catacombs, the real Theater of the Vampires, the Knights Templar, the Marquis de Sade, flying machines, mummies in the Bastille, gargoyles, medieval alchemists, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, La Belle Époque and much more!

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«Who’s that decapitated guy holding his head in his hands?»

The headless man in question is Saint Denis, a martyr with a strange and incredible story:

Saint Denis was the first bishop of Paris, back in the third century when Paris was still very much a Roman city. The prodigious number of conversions Denis performed got him on the bad side of the local pagan priests. So the Roman rulers of Paris had Denis arrested and brought him to the highest hill in Paris, now known as Montmartre, where he was executed by — you guessed it — beheading. Now, here comes the good part: It’s said that immediately after Denis was killed, he picked up his head and walked six kilometers to the North, and then finally died. The spot where he fell is now the town (technically a commune) called Saint Denis.

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Sweeney Todd de Paris: The Original Demon Barber

On the Seine’s Ile de la Cité, before the Hotel Dieu hospital was relocated to the island, the rue des Marmousets was renowned for its delectable pâtés and meat pies. People came from far and wide for the succulent French delicacies – especially for those made by a butcher next door to a barber shop on the corner of rue des Marmousets and rue des Deux-Hermites. The pies and pâtés sold there were so tasty, due to a certain je ne sais quoi, that even King Charles VI was said to have been a fan.

From 1384 until 1387, this acclaimed butcher was in cahoots with his neighboring barber, turning a pretty penny on the special pâtés. What made his savories particularly good? The soft, scrumptious, young flesh of the victims of the demon barber of Ile de la Cité of course. The barber whose usual clientele of foreign students – who were less likely to be noticed missing – would give customers a close shave and send them down a chute to the basement he shared with the butcher. Down there, the butcher would prepare the human meat, grinding it up for his infamous spreadable pastes and meat torts. This sinister partnership thrived for three years, and would have continued if it wasn’t for a poor pup whose owner never returned from the diabolical barber.

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Utenfor Hôtel de Ville fikk vi høre historien om guillotinen. Den moderne guillotinen ble funnet opp av Antonie Louis og ble kalt en louisette. Den fikk sitt nåværende navn etter Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin på et senere tidspunkt.

Det er laget mange utgaver av maskinen. En av de tidligere utgavene hadde rett blad i stedet for skrått blad. Når bladet i tillegg ikke var skarpt endte man ofte opp med å måtte kappe flere ganger for å separere hodet fra kroppen.

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The Hôtel de Ville

 

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Julien Aurouze and Co has been killing rats for 135 years. In its window hang 21 dead rats, their necks crushed by steel traps. They’ve been there since 1925.

 

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«Ratatouille'» has made Julien Aurouze and Co, the real-life rat-trap shop in central Paris, something of a tourist attraction.

 

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Rue Courtalon

Not far from the Theater Du Chatelet, there is a very short street called Rue Courtalon which only contains two buildings, building 1 and building 2. Around year 1284, people lived there noticed that within few months, 26 young men aged around twenty were disappeared. The rumor stated that there was a princess who had a liver disease and needed to take blood bath every now and then to stay alive, and she used blood from those healthy young men. King Louis XIV ordered an investigation to clear the air.

A policeman called Lecoq was on the task. He had a son, nicknamed «wide awake», about 20 years old, and agreed to help his father to solve the mystery. Every night after, he dressed up nicely and walked around Luxembourg to Tuileries. On his fifth night of stroll, there came a stunning young woman and her companion. He couldn’t resist the beauty and chatted with her for a few minutes. The young woman told him that she was living with her mother after her father died from a tragedy, and they are wealthy because her father left a fortune to them. After «Wide awake» told her that he is from a wealthy family as well, he was invited to meet her mother later that night. «Wide Awake» felt that he was onto something and agreed.

«Wide Awake» then rushed home and told his father before he went to the meeting place. The young woman’s companion was waiting for him. She took him to the building 2 on Rue Courtalon. Inside a room, the princess talked with «Wide Awake» for a few minutes before she found an excuse to leave the room. «Wide awake» walked around the room and saw a folding screen that was stuck on the wall. He pulled the screen and it came off, revealing a hiding corner with the decapitated, mummified heads of the missing young men. Just then, the door was opened and there were four strong armed men who came in and tried to kill him. At that moment, his father broke in with his policemen and saved «wide awake» just in time. The myth was solved, the young woman was a leader of a gang, who attracted young men with her beauty to get them killed. The decapitated heads were sent to Germany where they were used to study the character traits of the skull, and the bodies were sold to medical students.Of course, the young woman and her gangs are sentenced to death, but hint of the bloody beauty still lingers around the Rue Courtalon.



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