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Fiddle-Faddle, I'm not certain if you're going to also visit Poland (you mentioned about polish language though), however considering you'll travel by bus, train between Germany and Lithuania, I expect you'll visit some places in Poland.
You can find in almost all grocieries or really small stores a kind of rice-bread, which is 100% gluten-free. In polish they are called "wafle ryzowe" (very popular as also low-fat). The taste of them is... boring but it's good to not to be hungry during journey via country.
It's hard to believe, it's such bad in Belgium when gluten-free food needed. Which doesn't mean I don't beleieve you
IMO Europe is too diversificated to judge it generally.
I'd say that real paradise for us is Finland. You can buy gluten-free food, cakes, sweets, beer, etc. almost everywhere. The same fantastic possibilities are, by all accounts, in Sweden(I've never been in Sweden, but Finnish people affirmed).
I live in Poland. Thankfully in a really big city. The only thing I really miss is pizza&beer outside. It's not a fun at all to buy frozen gluten-free-pizza-base and bake it ourself at home.
The awareness is society is veeeeery low, so always must be very carefull in restaurants, but in bigger cities there are plenty of shops where you can buy gluten-free food and waiters generally speak english (but not expect they will know word as "wheat" or so on).
I was diagnosed just a year ago, so my personal experience is very low yet, however providing 1-10 scale of gluten-free satisfaction, my very subjective rating would be as follows:
Finland - 8 (there's no 10 in a whole world for us )
Poland - 3 (Krakow - 5, big cities - 3, small cities - 1)
Hungary - 1 (very lack knowledge of English in Budapest amazed me in negative way)
Slovakia - 2
Ukraine (Lviv only) - 1,5 (printed card in their language necessary)
Turkey (Bodrum area) - 1,5 (printed card in their language necessary)
Greece (just Kos and Rhodos Island) - 2,5 (didn't find any gluten-free stores, but some waiters are Dutch or British, so you can easily explain which meal may poison you).
Have you tried to make a bread yourself? If not, I'd recommend Panasonic Bread Maker as you can find in the link below:
It's fast, easy to use and user friendly :-)
I visited Lviv only, (western Ukraine), close to Polish-Ukrainian boarder, however I suppose there is no bigger awareness about celiac/gluten in Kiev.
That's mean unnoticed from my point of view. No special shops, no knowledge at all.
I was using my card printed in Ukrainian language (attached below) and it helped in restaurants.
Actually... when I showed it, almost all crew was helpful. They were fantastic trying to help me. IMO, they felt flattered that I printed my request in their language. Several waiters and cook took part in heated debate. Excellent brainstorm. Great dish. Just felt as an alien in their eyes.
The card quoted above is good in Hungary, but not good in Romania. Romanians speak in completely different language.
Please find the card for Romania below:
Sunt la dieta specială fără gluten. Înainte de toate, NU AM VOIE să mănânc, chiar şi în cantităţi foarte mici, anumite produse: faină de grâu (sau secara, orz, mei), pâine, paste, pesmet, borş. Vă rog frumos să-mi propuneţi un fel de mâncare, care nu conţine aceste ingrediente. Mulţumesc mult!
BTW. Say hello to Dracula if you meet him in Transylvania
BTW 2: I was in Hungary during Formula-1 weekend, unfortunately I lost my printed card.
It wasn't easy to explain it in restaurant (honestly I tried only once) and totally "mission-impossible" in grocery, so I had my lunches in McD (grilled chicken with salad) and used my "gluten-free-support-food" taken from home.
You can buy dozens species of gluten-free bread in Poland, however (as I've checked) they are often made from something they call "skrobia pszenna bezglutenowa" = Glutenfree wheat starch. So it's good to check the label.
I'm though not familiar with strictly procedures which quantify the maximum of ppm, allowing for using "Glutenfree" prefix.
Good news is that in every part of Holland, almost everybody speak english, so it won't be a problem to ask anyone for advise.
In restaurants you won't have any troble being understood, however the best would be to talk directly with the cook.
Maybe the link below will help a littel bit:
IMO Indian and Thai restaurants don't usually provide gluten meals. There's a lot of them.
If, what seems to be unlikely, waiters and cooks don't speak english, you may print and show the gluten-free requirements:
In verband met gezondheids probleem, dat berust op, dat mijn organisme verteert geen eiwitten (gluten) die komen v
If you intend to visit Krakow, I'd recommend you the gluten-free restaurant. This is the only one I've ever heard (so and eaten there).
They offer special gluten free menu containing dozens of dishes (including traditional polish cuisine). The food is really delicious. I assure.
gluten-free menu (in polish, but I believe, the restaurant's staff speak English:
If you're going to eat outside during whole journey, the best solution would be to speak with the cooks (not with the waiters) directly or show the printed card as bezgluten wrote in the message above.
Eating in fastfoods, apart from french fries, I think you can also order kebab meat (very popular in most cities via avenues) of course with no bread, just meat and salads on the plate.
As a "packed lunch" for trips you can buy rise-bread SONKO (almost in every grocery store - even in the small ones) http://www.sonko.pl/x.php/1,35/Produkty-bezglutenowe.html
You can choose lots sorts of this bread and the rice cakes with coating (strawberry, yoghurt, chocolate)
What else can I add... If you need any help during your time in Poland, don't hesitate to call me (I'll send you my cell number via contact information).
What part of Slovakia (which city) will you visit?
Knowing it, I'll try to find out some groceries and restaurants list with my celiac mates' help on Polish forum.
Generally I'd recommend "Hypernova" malls in most cities. It's a brand of Dutch huge company called AHOLD (malls and stores) and I'm sure you can find there gluten-free special products.
There you can find a map with particular stores through whole the country.
There is just one thing to confirm:
I apologise in advance for my suspiciousness however there is very common confusion for not-european people to mix up Slovakia and Slovenia (two completely different countries with no boundary between even).
Hungarian language (as Finnish and Estonian) is a very complicated one and completely not connected with any other european language-groups.
However I believe you can use the phrase below: