"Gerardmer" was just a dot on our large scale map (all of France and large parts of surrounding countries).
The lake didn't show on the map at all, so it was a surprise to find a sizable resort town with hotels and parks and score of boat rentals, though few boaters. It's cold, wet and gray, the coldest spring anyone can remember. (I've worn thermal underwear, two sweaters, jacket, hat and gloves every day since we left Boston.)
There was no soap in the bathroom, though, and there were no plastic cups or glasses for brushing teeth and taking your meds. (So unlike the Europe of 65 years ago, you drink the tap water everywhere.)
"They'll give you glasses at the bar," the desk clerk told me, "and there's soap next to the shower."
The bar was even more elegant than the restaurant and I wished, as I asked for glasses that I hadn't come down in slippers.