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December 15, 2016: France - Opening of Lascaux 4.

After several years of preparation, the International Center for Cave Art, better known as Lascaux 4, opened its doors to the public in mid-December 2016 in Montignac in Dordogne. It is a splendid identical reproduction of the whole decorated part of Lascaux Caves. The Center enables people not only to visit the replica of the original cave, but also to understand the place of Lascaux in cave art and its relationship to contemporary art.

As for Lascaux 2, an older replica dating back to 1983, it is closed 4 months a year due to maintenance and restoration. It will reopen on April 1, 2017.

December 2016: Europe - Thalys.

As from December 13, Thalys offers discount rates for "mini-groups", i.e. groups of 3 to 5 adults. This cheap tariff is valid for a journey in second class (Comfort 2) between France, Belgium, Germany or the Netherlands. It comes in addition to discount rates for groups of 10 people and more and to other special rates such as the low cost offer IZY on the Paris-Brussels route and the new special fare for children under 12 years. In 2015, Thalys had already launched a TickUp rate for travellers who agree to form a group of 4 people on the Paris-Brussels route just like in case of carpooling.

July 14, 2016: France
– Attack in Nice

On July 14, a truck drove into the crowd gathered to watch France's national holiday fireworks on the "Promenade des Anglais" in Nice. There are at least 84 dead and many injured, including 20 in a very critical condition.

April 12, 2016: France - Youth card from Hop Air France.

Hop!, the subsidiary of Air France for short and medium flights, launches a youth card that offers up to 30% discount on more than 100 lines and makes it easier to change or cancel the booking of an airline ticket. The card costs € 49 (€ 39 until April 19) per year.

March 1, 2016: France/Belgium - Low cost high-speed trains between Paris and Brussels.

Thalys has just announced that low cost high-speed trains will run daily between Paris and Brussels under the name of Izy as from April 3, 2016. The standard price varies from € 19 to € 59. 10 tickets without guarantee you get a seat on board are available at only € 10. Children under 12 travel for € 10 too.

In consideration of these low prices, the duration of the journey, averaging 2h15, is about 55 minutes longer than that of the classical Thalys. In addition, the services provided are limited: no bar on the trains and limited standard luggage allowance (one cabin luggage and one cabin luggage). Additional services (XL seat, extra bags, information by SMS) are rendered against payment. Tickets are sold through the web only and they are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

The economic model followed by Izy is similar to that of low-cost airlines. The project aims to compete with very cheap bus transport which is rather successful in this part of Europe. It is also inspired by the low cost high-speed trains that SNCF has developed in France under the name of Ouigo since 2013.

November 13, 2015: France - Terrible terrorist attacks in Paris. 

Several terrorist attacks, claimed by DAESH, killed 129 people and injured more than 300 in Paris on Friday night. The French government declared a national state of emergency and a three-day mourning. The state of emergency has been extended for 3 months. It allows the authorities inter alia to impose a curfew, order the provisional closure of venues or shut down public gatherings for security reasons.

17 June 2015: France - TGVpop.

SNCF (French railways) provides internet users with the opportunity to vote for the departure of 203 high-speed trains (TGV) with tickets at 25 or 35 euros. The more a train gets votes, the more it is certain to leave. The trains will be announced two weeks prior to departure. Four days before the departure of the train, if the train has received enough votes, participants are informed by email that tickets are on sale as from the next day. This risky initiative aims to compete with carpooling. 


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