Exciting Changes in France to Look For
2010 brought a lot of changes to France. Millions of Euros were spent by the government to upgrade their public spaces and technology for visitors. Some of these renovations are still underway, but others are set in place and ready for visitors to marvel at them.
- The top floor of the Orsay, containing its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist rooms, is scheduled to reopen this spring.
- The Eiffel Tower’s online reservation system is up and running. With this new system in place, attendants, at the tower, scan your ticket (which you’ve printed at home) and put you on the first available elevator.
- The east wing of the Army Museum in Paris, which exhibits “From Louis XIV to Napoleon I,” covers French military history from 1643 to 1814, with a focus on Napoleon, is finally complete. Highlights include a projection screen illustrating the Battle of Waterloo and the famous portrait of Napoleon by Ingres.
- The first phase of the Mont St Michel’s project to return the island to its original form was completed in 2010. The new dam on the Couesnon River offers a fabulous view of the abbey. Next up is the construction of huge parking lots, followed by a pedestrian footbridge to replace the old causeway. The entire project should be completed by 2014. See the changes to the Mont St Michel on our Normandy and Brittany Combo Tour.
- In Colmar, big plans are in the works to expand the Unterlinden Museum, which is one of the most visited in all of France because of its beautiful Isenheim Altarpiece. Our Alsace Bike Tour stops in Colmar.
High tech changes:
- Every McDonald’s in France now offers free Wi-Fi.
- As more of France adopts chip-and-PIN technology for credit cards, U.S. credit and debit cards may not work at self-service ticket machines, gas pumps, automated tollbooths, and parking garages with automatic pay points. The best advice is to carry sufficient cash in euro bills and coins, since there’s usually an option to pay cash.
As you can tell France has had some exciting construction years. Be among the first to see all the new features in person. More stimulating changes are set to take place in the next couple years so make sure you are there to see the results.