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  1. We survived! Three weeks and we did not get glutened! This is our second trip trip to Europe since my diagnosis! I just want to point out some tips for safe travel. Celiac Travel Cards -- download them to your phone or print off in any language for free (just Google). Delta Airlines -- Even though we ordered gluten-free meals for our flight, once again, Delta departing from Atlanta, failed to provide gluten-free meals. Fortunately, I packed a collapsible cooler that contained lunch meats, cheeses, gluten-free crackers, chips, cookies, nuts, veggies and fruit. The good news is that Belgium (Delta/KLM) was on their toes and we did received gluten free meals on the way home! Yeah! Italy -- This is the best European country to visit as a celiac. All reviews were so true! Senza Glutine! Our Rome hotel was able to accommodate us, but I was nervous (not hubby), so I stuck to grocery store food items and in the morning ate boiled eggs, whole fruit and yogurt. Hubby ate the gluten-free bread our hotel provided. We found a 100% celiac restaurant in Livorno, Italy. The owner has celiac disease and she has both a restaurant and bakery in town! What luck! Even luckier was after our Tour of the Vatican, hubby found a 100% gluten free restaurant within walking distance called Mama Frites. (I missed out on this restaurant because I took my parents back to the hotel). Hubby said that a kid was passing out pizza flyers. He told the kid that we needed to be gluten-free and the kids said that the restaurant next door was owned by the same family and was dedicated 100%! Hubby confirmed with other celiac customers! gluten-free foods can be found in any Italian pharmacy -- not the best foods, but things like cookies, crackers and bread. We ate lots of gelato -- celiac friendly gelato places, scooped from new containers using dedicated spoons! I kid you not! We are definitely going back to Italy for an extended stay! Celebrity Cruise Line -- Just like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity kept us safe. I even toured the kitchen where special allergy/type diets are prepared. I can not say enough about Celebrity! They were terrific! The only down fall is their attempt to make pizza next to the regular pizza! I watched them and then declined the pizza. I did talk to the head chef for the buffet restaurant, so I am confident that they make improvements. On Royal Caribbean, you get a frozen Udi's pizza but heated in foil, you know it is safe. Best bet is to ALWAYS eat in the dining room. Your head waiter will keep you safe -- not the cafe/buffet line! France -- We docked in near Nice. No luck finding food in the small village (we were on a tour). So, we stuck to the grocery store during our day trip. Spain -- We toured a few islands. We packed a few Lara Bars and snacks. No luck finding anything suitable in Palma Mallorca but we just ate when we got back to the ship. We stayed a few days in Barcelona after the end of our cruise. Found a gluten-free bakery and a nice burger joint that has a gluten free menu. This restaurant was recommended online -- Anauco Gourmet. Did I mention Costa Coffee from England? Coffee and those prepackaged gluten-free brownies! Yum! Poland -- I thought this was going to be tough because of language issues. So, we used our celiac travel cards to decipher and get help from employees at even grocery stores. The great news was that there was a Tesco in Krakow and a Polish restaurant that caters to celiac called Pod Baranam located in the city center. We ate there for four days, pigging out on traditional Polish foods. It was heaven. We packed a picnic lunch when we ate with family at my Great Grandparent's farm. We missed out on terrific food though. My family went out of their way purchased some gluten-free prepackaged items for us, but they did not get the cross contamination issue concerning the cabbage rolls and sausages they prepared. Same goes for the restaurant dinner we hosted. We were out in the sticks and country folks haven't been exposed to information about celiac disease. I am sure that will soon change! Overall, the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for my family. How wonderful to be with three generations! Best yet -- not to get sick! Yo soy celiaca! Senza Glutine!
  2. Next summer, I'm going to Spain for vacation with my extended family. Has anyone else been to Spain while gluten free? How was it? Is there anything I should know (other than to bring translation/travel cards?)
  3. Hello! I am moving to Grenoble, France for work. From what I hear, many French don't believe in celiac and gluten intolerance! I'm very nervous, and am considering bailing on the job! I am very sensitive to cross contamination (my house is entirely gluten free and I don't eat out, or many packaged gluten free foods). I feel pretty good about feeding myself in my own home since the markets there are very good, but here are my concerns: 1. What to eat while traveling in Europe 2. Since France is a big food culture and socialization is mainly food related, I'm worried I won't be able to make a good social circle (especially if many people thing "gluten intolerance" isn't real). 3. Non food items that are gluten free, like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, floss, etc 4. Physicians and dentists there having knowledge about gluten-free medications and gluten free dental products for dental visits. If anyone has any insight from either living in France or visiting, it would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
  4. Barcelona S.M.A.P. Celíacs de Catalunya Contact: Madilde Torralba Comtal, 32, 5=E8 1a E-08002 Barcelona, Spain Tel: 343 412 17 89 Fax: 343 412 03 82 E-mail: celiacs@tuareg.com Internet: http://www.celiacscatalunya.org Bilbao E.Z.E. Associacion Celíaca de Euzkadi Contact: Mireia Apraiz Somera, 3-30-Dpto 2 E-48005 Bilbao, Spain Tel: 34/4/416/94/80 Madrid A.C.E. Sede Central Apdo Correos 34096 E-28080 Madrid Tel: 34-1-47-319-67 Madrid A.C.M. Associacion de Celíacos de Madrid Contact: Manuela Marquez C/Pozas, 4-Local E-28004--Madrid, Spain Tel: 34/1/523/04/94 Santander A.C.E. Delegacion Comtabria Contact: Emmique Cueto, or Gonzalo Odriozola Apdo. Correos 291 E-39080 Santander, Spain Tel: 34/33/63/85 Tel: odriozog@buc.unican.es
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