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GlutenFreeAl

Traveling To Europe

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I'm planning a trip to Europe later this year. Not sure where I'm going yet. Airfare is a huge factor, so is speaking the language!

Considering Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, etc.

Anyone have any tips on traveling to a foreign country? I obviously can't bring all of my meals for two weeks!

Help!! :unsure:

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hello, i havent been to any of the places you listed off, but i have lived in italy. and i know there you can get gluten free bread, pasta, cookies, etc. at the pharmacy! and its better than anything ive ever had in the us. good luck with your trip, and dont worry you'll find stuff.

alexis

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hey,

I have been to those places, but not while I was gluten free. I have only been on one trip (to Munich and around Italy) while on this diet and it wasn't too bad.

For Italy, I printed out a list of gluten free restaurants and gelateria places. I did end up at some of them and they were quite good (I even got pizza once!). It can be a bit of a pain to go across a big city like Rome for a certain restaurant though, and I never once became ill from eating anywhere for meals (I DID get sick from 2 gelateria places though--they definitely put gluten in waaay more of their ice cream than we do here, we can't eat most of the ice cream).

At almost every restaurant I went to, the owner's wife, cousin, aunt, etc. had celiac and knew about it. The first night I went to a place that even had breadsticks (styrofoamy though) and pasta for me (yummy). I brought cereal and bread and the unhealthy kind of peanutbutter that doesnt need to be refridgerated along with bread for breakfast for me everyday (then just got fruit from the buffets). I highly recommend you bring your own breakfast food with you. I did a Globus tour for part of it and the tour guide was VERY helpful, very accommodating.

Lunch sucks. <_< They have very boring salads everywhere that have 2 ingredients and are usually gross. Its always safer to go to the fancier restaurants I found. I brought a lot of granola bars and veggie type bars with lots of fiber. I lived off granola bars. I also bought a lot of plain chips and plain nuts at the Autogrills we stop at in between cities.

http://www.celiachia.it/ristoratori/ristoratori.asp List of Italian restaurants

http://www.celiac.com/st_prod.html?p_prodid=336

http://www.sfu.ca/~jfremont/celiaclinks.html Country celiac sites

http://www.celiaccenter.org/cruise.asp Celiac cruise

http://www.nogluttravel.com/modules/myalbu...wcat.php?cid=17

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/home.htm I hear they have gluten-free food here

In Munich it was pretty hard to eat out, gluten is in pretty much everything. I stayed with family and my relative was very good about it and bought me tons of stuff from the grocery store nearby. Apparently there was a bakery nearby that made bread too. I think you just have to search.

I didn't get my gluten free meal on the plane ride over. Make sure you call earlier than they tell you (they told us the wrong time so it was too late to get it on the plane I suppose). My meal on the plane back was really good! I flew Lufthansa.

Good luck!

p.s. I laminated about 8 or so cards explaining my gluten free situation in German and Italian and always carried them with me (mine were copies out of the back of the Gluten Free Bible). I showed them to every waiter I had when I was not with my tour guide (who took care of that for me).

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Wow, thanks for your replies!

I actually went to Italy last year before I was diagnosed. It was amazing, but I felt like crap the whole time. I guess croissants every breakfast, panini every lunch and pasta every dinner will do that to us! I think I'm the only person who has ever gone to Italy and LOST a ton of weight instead of gaining!

Anyone have any destination suggestions? Any cities better than others? I would assume that big cities are safer than small towns, but I could be wrong.

Do they give you a hard time bringing food across international borders?

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There was no problem bringing the food I brought across borders: sealed granola bars, bread, peanut butter, cereal. I actually brought a ton of stuff home with me, there are lots of goodies you can get in Italy but not at home...croissants yum!

From my experience, I would say do not go to Germany if you are staying in hotels. Italy worked out ok.

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There was a great website posted on this thread for traveling all around the world, including Europe:

http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?showtopic=13216

Some of the Inns/hotels/Bed and Breakfasts have celiac owners, celiac in their family, they are gluten free aware, and I even read about one in Italy that is purely gluten free.

Here is the site: http://glutenfreeholidays.com/independ/index.htm

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Hi Al! Lucky guy, I'm from Barcelona. If finally you decide to come here, you can ask me anything you want. You won't have so much problems since our meals aren't too elaborated (plain salads, grilled meats etc)... remember mediterranean diet? :) Anyway there is a list of restaurants and hotels that offers gluten-free menus. Even Mcdonald's let's you take your own "bread" so you can eat there your safe hamburguer! :D

That's it, if you want more information or whatever... here I am!

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Hi, I just saw this thread. I live in Holland, so if you decide to visit, ask away! :)

Now if you want a holiday in celiac paradise, I'd recommend Finland. :D But I see you're planning more of a central european tour...

Pauliina

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Hi, I just saw this thread. I live in Holland, so if you decide to visit, ask away! :)

Now if you want a holiday in celiac paradise, I'd recommend Finland. :D But I see you're planning more of a central european tour...

Pauliina

hI Paulina,

How are you? Why is Finland celiac paradise? Mijn vrouw en ik ben gaan naar te copenhagen en bijna acht weken, mischien beter en finland? waarom. Mijn nederlands niet zo goed maar ik ben probeer. Mijn vrouw is nederlanse, uit noord brabant, uden. Here is my email address if you could reply back, bedankt. doie.

G3FHPD@AOL.COM

tot ziens,

joe

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One thing I read about Finland is, that they allow 300 ppm of gluten in their 'gluten-free' foods. And as a result, when they had the international celiac convention there, many Celiacs from Canada and the USA, who aren't used to such high levels, got quite ill when eating their specially prepared foods.

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i'm backpacking in europe for 10 days beginning of march (so i can't really bring much food with me - no room!). first i'm going to edinburgh, i booked a hostel near a gluten-free pizza place! then i'm going to amsterdam ANY ADVICE WELCOME! i contacted their coeliac society and they gave advice for shopping at stores for food, but no restaurant advice and i don't speak dutch (but do have a gluten-free dutch card)

then i'm going to geneva. i have no clue about there haha. i'll bring french and german gluten-free cards (i believe german is the dominant language in geneva)

i end in belfast, i've been there before and always have good luck with gluten-free food.

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I'm planning a trip to Europe later this year. Not sure where I'm going yet. Airfare is a huge factor, so is speaking the language!

Considering Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, etc.

Anyone have any tips on traveling to a foreign country? I obviously can't bring all of my meals for two weeks!

Help!! :unsure:

My celiac partner had no trouble in Amsterdam. You can get herring snacks all over, you can go to an Indonesian restaurant (fabulous). Everyone speaks English. You can't eat the ham and cheese sandwiches, but you won't have trouble finding gluten free breaad.

Best of luck to you, those are wonderful places. Loved Barcelona, but was there before I was celiac aware. Cheers, Tracy

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then i'm going to geneva. i have no clue about there haha. i'll bring french and german gluten-free cards (i believe german is the dominant language in geneva)

Switzerland is both French and German depending on what region you are in, Zurich is German...Geneva is basically French as far as language goes though I expect both languages are spoken....much like in Canada French is the predominant in eastern Canada whereas English is predominant in the west.

As far as their food goes...I forget...it was a long time since I visited there.

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I hadn't noticed the replies to this thread, sorry for the late reply! :o

Why is Finland celiac paradise... because it's so well known there! A lot of cafes have gluten free cakes and cookies in the freezer, you just ask and have a treat with your tea or coffee! And even small supermarkets usually have gluten free products on the shelves. And waiters don't look at you like you have two heads if you ask about gluten (ok some do, it's not like the entire Finnish population is familiar with the ins and outs of celiac! :lol:)

It's true about the norm for "gluten free" being different in Europe - all of the European Union, not just Finland, you need to remember that when travelling in Europe. The nice thing in Finland, compared to Holland where I live, is that I could find more products labelled "naturally gluten free", which have no gluten whatsoever.

In all the European countries that I've visited: It's easy to spot the so-called gluten free stuff though, usually it means they have used a special high grade wheat starch in a product, so you'll see wheat starch listed in the ingredients. The two other things I look out for are glucose syrup and maltodextrin, if you avoid those, and a label doesn't list gluten containing grains, then you're fine. And obviously, "naturally gluten free" labelled products that contain glucose syrup etc. are fine, too, the glucose syrup will be made of a naturally gluten free grain!

I'm afraid I can't help with restaurants in Amsterdam. I never ever eat out. But EVERYONE speaks English, most people very well, so explaining the diet wouldn't be too much of a problem.

I did find these on www.livaad.nl, an online program for gluten free stuff in Holland:

Museum Café Restaurant Linnaeusstraat 29 1093 EE Amsterdam 0206650956

Restaurant Hotel De Roode Leeuw Damrak 93 1012 LP Amsterdam 0205550666

Restaurant Jaap Hannis Borneosteiger 1 1019 KM Amsterdam 0204189690

Restaurant Aroma Leidsestraat 96 1017 PE Amsterdam 0206342941

De Kersentuin Dijsselhofplantsoen 7 1077 BJ Amsterdam 0205705600

Boerderij Meerzicht Koenenkade 56 1081 KG Amsterdam 0206792744

Cafe Restaurant Amsterdam Watertorenplein 6 1051 PA Amsterdam 0206822666

Fifteen Amsterdam naast de passengers terminal in amsterdam achter het centraal station 1000BM Amsterdam 0900 3438336

Haesje Claes Spuistraat 273-275 1012 VR Amsterdam 0206249998

Café Kale de Grote Marie Heinekenplein 33 1072 MH Amsterdam de Pijp 0206704661

Apparently these are restaurants that celiacs have eaten at without getting sick. :D But as i said, I haven't any personal experience with them. It is probably a good idea to phone in advance, and don't worry, really practically everyone speaks English. :D

Hope this helps someone!

Pauliina

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When we travel with my kid we either use japanese restaurants (sushis and white rice, we do avoid soy sauce since it often contains gluten, although my kid does tolerate a little soy sauce), or we use grills (for eg french fries and a grilled steak). To buy food use whole food shops (that's where they sell gluten free stuff).

Its quite easy. We travel all the time. This year we are even going to siberia (might be a bit harder to find gluten-free stuff there, but I just think rice and a grilled meat can be found almost everywhere) (and we are going to St Petersbourg too, but we've been there a lot already).

For the planes we always bring our own food though (I know if one asks the company, they can provide a gluten-free meal, but I do not trust them that much).

We always put in our suicases also some snacks and enough to last for a couple days, so we do not have to rush and find some food just upon arrival

Anyway, it's really not harder to find gluten-free food in Europe than it is in the US.

bye

Martine (from France, but who loves travelling, gluten free and casein free child)

I'm planning a trip to Europe later this year. Not sure where I'm going yet. Airfare is a huge factor, so is speaking the language!

Considering Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, etc.

Anyone have any tips on traveling to a foreign country? I obviously can't bring all of my meals for two weeks!

Help!! :unsure:

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Gluten Free safety in Europe is as diverse as the cultures and languages.

It ranges from excellent to non existant depending where you are.

I live in Paris and have a website specially for gluten-free residents but also visitors to Paris but I can't say France is very good for coelaics at all.

Italy, especially the North is much more aware and gluten-free is really taking off in the UK. You have to be very careful of how each country defines gluten free, many take the codex standard of 200ppm and I and many others I know are ill at this level.

Specific allergen labelling came into Europe in 2005 I think but its adoption depends on the country. I have personally bought and been ill from items with no possible gluten on the labelling. I have also tested several of these with the tepnel home test kits and found several not only to contain gluten but high levels.

I cannot find a single cooked sliced ham or chicken in the whole of France that is gluten-free. Many state "dextrose du ble" on the label or "amindon modifie'" (wheat dextrose and wheat starch) but others just say "amidon" or "arome naturelle" .. starch or natural flavourings. All I have actually tested have contained gluten.

The EU rule is they vcan only write starch if its non allergenic .. the truth is they don't care.

So in summary, try and get LOCAL advice from someone. (if anyone wants the template or help to set up a gluten-free local support site ask me) because LOCAL advice is tested... and in the South of Europe rules are .. well taken to be optional guidelines sometimes :D

Much of Northern Italy speak English as a second language and very well and the same goes for Spain. The very Southern part of Italy, especially Sicly I found French equally useful. France, well many younger people learned English at school but they are not confident. If you practice your bad French it gives them confidence and they are then useually delighted to have a go at helping you in English.... I found the Spanish and Italians equally delighted if you try ... and have even been wih a friend who managed in classical Spanish in Northern Spain with a helpful guy who spoke as classic Italian as possible... we only stopped for directions but we ended up parking up and joining the guy for a drink whivch he insisted to pay for!

Northern Europe, especially Scandanavia love rules. The danger here is that if the limit says 300ppm they are likely to add gluten to get to 299ppm... such is the mentality. I lived in Norway for 2 yrs and 50kph means 49 kph and a whole trail of cars will be exactly 1kph under the speed limit. This is regardless of weather condiitons... so you can have 2 feet of snopw on the road and they will still go at 49kph if the limit is 50!

However unless you venture in to the deep country you are unlikely to meet anyone who doesn't speak perfect English. They are also somewhat time oriented and I was told quite rudely (by Southern European standards) several times not to waste peoples time with my bad Norwegian!

The UK, Netherlands and to an extent Denmark (though classed as Scandanavian) lie somewhere between the two. The UK expect everyone to speak English, if you don't they will just shout at you louder. I remember directing some French tourists in London in French and the almost dropped dead with surprise.

The Netherlands and North/Western Belgium speak English so well it makes me embarassed however they seem equally delighted that you try the language and I have never had the same "Speak English and stop wasting my time" I had in Norway. I am usually self concious asking someone if they speak English in their own country and presuming they do is even worse but I never felt this in Holland. They smile and the Dutch tolerance kicks in and they seem to have all the time i the world to help you. Im of to Bruges this weekend for a Silver expo and it will be strange asking for things in English since my Dutch is non existant ...

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Being Finnish myself and now living in the Netherlands, I have to say that Finland truely IS the paradise for celiacs-at least for myself!. Maybe the experiences differ but I'd call myself a bad case of a celiac and whenever I go home-I feel great. I am not saying this because I'm possibly biased :rolleyes: but it's just a lot easier there. I have never had a painful experience in restaurants, although it could happen of course.Most restaurants announce the gluten-free meals on the menu and the selection in the supermarkets is quite impressive.

In the Netherlands, things aren't that bad either (I live in Amsterdam which might be an advantage). Belgium, however, is slightly more tricky ( I have lived there for a year as well) On many occasions my allergy got confused with vegetables (groente in flemish). I was in a restaurant in Antwerp last weekend where I asked if there was any gluten in the soup to which the waiter replied that there was absolutely no vegetables in my broccolisoup :D (made me wonder what it was made of...)

In general I think Europe is getting sightly better-Northern Europe gets thumbs up for sure from me. However, in many occasions in Central Europe,I feel that if a restaurant wants to earn their euros-this could turn out a sour (and painful) experience for you.

Gluten allergy is not very well known in Italy. Ironically, a lot of the gluten-free products I buy from my local store are produced in Italy (www.schaer.com) but I do not find the eating-out experience there that great. Every time I travel there ( I do travel a lot for work), it is a problem to find a good restaurant and most of the time I just end up eating a steak or salad to avoid the hassle. Italians do not understand how you can ignore their pasta- being half italian I understand their feelings completely :lol: )

The best bet is to find a health-food store, especially in the Netherlands. Supermarkets (such as Albert Heijn) here do sell some bread but it is not edible- it's truely disgusting, just like an old sponge). My all time favourite has become the german Schnitzer-bread, available in lots of varieties- toast it with cheese....MMMMMMMM) so the options are there, you'll just have to find them.

Best of luck in your travels-all of you. Take care you don't get sick as the implications can be serious in the long run so no cheating!!!!! I'm having a hard time coping with it but it's just not worth the misery as I'm sure you all know very well!

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Before the Dr's here decided I had DH (no pos. dx yet though), I went to Germany/Netherlands/UK/Belgium/France several times for 2 weeks each time, and came home SYMPTOM FREE! I would tell the Dr. - "I have no rash in Germany!!!!!!!!!!!" And they thought that it most be my cats or my carpets or something in my house!!!

Anyway, to confirm my suspicions, I have had very little problem in Germany (Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Nuremburg, west side near France), Netherlands, Belgium, and UK since then.

The first times, prior to knowing about DH/Celiac/gluten-free I had to LOOK for WHOLE WHEAT BREADS!!! They don't automatically serve bread with the meal - and they say "ah, you must be American, when I would ask for "brot" with my dinner!

Their sauces in Germany don't have flour, etc. Their foods are much less "prepared" and most is made from scratch. And I think that spaetzle (spelling?) is mostly potato flour, if not all potato flour.

I was even told while there, by a US Army Doctor, that their wheat crops are a bit different and don't have the same amount of Gluten, as a natural characteristic. But who knows if that's true! He said that treatment for Celiac and DH are very common in Europe - most doctors know about it and can dx/treat it. I'm thinking of taking an assignment in Germany for just that reason, but probably won't.....oh well. I love it there for many reasons.

To iterate my previous remark (and I got my wrists slapped for saying it), Celiac disease is very common in northern Euopeans and people of northern European descent. Therefore, the northern Euorpeans see it much more than the other cultures (I am NOT using the R-word here!) and have to deal with it much more than here in the U.S. Although it is true that the global melting pot is causing it to be seen in every geography and nationality and culture.

Oh, don't worry about language! They mostly speak English. But then again, I speak French and I try very hard with Deutch in Deutchland. Tres Bien. Gutentag.

Franceen

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Thanks for all the tips people! I am heading off to Barcelona shortly... I managed to find some stuff on health food stores onlines in the area, and a few restaurants, however, the celiac society of catalyuna's email address seems to be nil. Anyone from Barcelona / been there that can point me anywhere else to possibly get a list of their gluten-free-friendly places to eat?

gracias!

Jeff

:rolleyes:

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I'm planning a trip to Europe later this year. Not sure where I'm going yet. Airfare is a huge factor, so is speaking the language!

Considering Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, etc.

Anyone have any tips on traveling to a foreign country? I obviously can't bring all of my meals for two weeks!

Help!! :unsure:

Hi. I actually live in England, though I live in Lincoln, not London. But can gurantee you that labelling is very good in this country all gluten-free food now says it on it, or says "contains gluten"if it does. so good idea to top here, as it is safe. If you get stuck, go to a Marks and Spencers, or Sainsbury's - you can sometimes even find these in railway stations here. Sainsbury's has very good labelling,a nd Marks and Spencers even do gluten free cakes. Not saying theres a wide variety, but at leats everything is labelled one way or the other. Also look for crossed grain symbol, as this means gluten gree - an ear of what with a line through it. Coeliac UK is also a great organisation for helping with this, and lists restaurants and the like and places to stay - we even have some gluten-free bed and breafasts and hotels here, as people who run them or family members are coeliac. Holland and Barrett are a health food shop which would also be able to help you. Any other questions, please feel free to email me. Hope that helps :)

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Thanks for all the tips people! I am heading off to Barcelona shortly... I managed to find some stuff on health food stores onlines in the area, and a few restaurants, however, the celiac society of catalyuna's email address seems to be nil. Anyone from Barcelona / been there that can point me anywhere else to possibly get a list of their gluten-free-friendly places to eat?

When I was in Barcelona I wasn't gluten-free yet. But I do remember eating lots of fresh tomatoes. Sorry I can't offer any more help.

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I went to Barcelona before I was gluten-free too. I remember they had menus in lots of different languages. There's lots of fresh food. I bet paella is gluten-free. I remember lots of seafood too. Maybe you can pick up some dining cards just in case, but I bet you won't have too much of a problem there.

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