In France, bathtubs are standard facilities, but many older hotels are being retrofitted with showers to meet demands by North Americans who simply cannot do without their morning top–down slosh, which of course with hard water and dry climate (as anyone who has lived in S. Alberta knows) means dry, dry skin.

The retrofits into hotel rooms also mean that the facilities are bijoux. In the shower in the Paris hotel room we’d booked into during our Victoria–south France transit, you couldn’t bend or crouch down to pick up your shampoo bottle from the floor of the shower without having your head, knees or your butt untuck the shower curtain from the stall. You’d have to be some tai chi expert or Chinese acrobat and be able to lower your body along only vertical planes, or just be short, to avoid that. And then, of course, the curtain would stick to you, compounding the out-of-shower water experience.

Ah well, after 12 hours of airplaning, 1.5 hours of transiting from airport to city, and three hours walking aimlessly and dazedly while awaiting your hotel room to be made available, any shower feels great.


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