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WillTravel Dec 27th, 2005 02:33 AM

Rodent encounters in Europe - your stories
Of course every continent, except possibly Antarctica, has rats and mice. And of course we're perhaps more likely to see one at home rather than while on holiday in Europe. But certain cities, like Venice and Amsterdam, have something of a reputation, deserved or not.

So has anyone seen mice and rats on their travels? Have you knowingly shared a room with them? On the weekend I read a story by someone who is traveling in Laos, who described lying on his cot wrapped in mosquito netting as a rat tried to gnaw its way into his backpack. That's one sort of budget travel I'd rather forego, unadventurous as I may be.

(For the record, I haven't seen any rodents in Europe, for which I'm incredibly thankful. I have a reaction somewhat similar to that of Winston in 1984 when I see one.)

nankar Dec 27th, 2005 06:33 AM

We had just toured the Eiffel Tower in the evening and sat down on a bench outside. I noticed a mouse coming towards me from under a closed ice cream cart and got to my feet immediately, jumping up and down to avoid it. My friend, without knowing why, started to do the same and caught the mouse under her foot rendering fatal injuries! We were both so grossed out by the incident that it took us some time to recover. We've laughed about it countless times since!

merrittm Dec 27th, 2005 07:01 AM

Seen the rodents! Photographed the rodents! Florence, standing on a bridge overlooking the river, saw the BIGGEST river rat I've ever seen in my life. I asked a local if that was really a rat and he said "yes, like Mickey Mouse". I found out later that Italians call Mickey Mouse "Mickey Raton". While in Paris, late at night, I saw at least 20 rats having a party in the courtyard. And if you see ONE rate, there must be thousands of unseen ones....Yuck. Took a picture of the rat party. Fortunately, none were in my hotel room (that I know of...)

MissPrism Dec 27th, 2005 07:06 AM

If you go to London, some tube stations have lots of little mice running around on the rails.
They seem to come in several different colours almost as though they have mutated into another species, mus londiniumus perhaps.
I think that they are rather sweet so long as they stay down on the rails and don't come up onto the platform.

logos999 Dec 27th, 2005 07:13 AM

There are a number of mice on the platform in Munich subway stations, but usually it puts a smile on peoples faces. No matter weather the going to or coming from work. :-)

Suzanne2 Dec 27th, 2005 07:14 AM

I have seen rats in Paris and I have read that they are quite common. I wonder if people see them when they take those tours of the sewers or the catacombs. I wondered about the homeless people seeping on the streets of Paris. do they get bitten by rats? This is a creepy topic.

tcreath Dec 27th, 2005 07:19 AM

I too have seen mice and rats on the tracks of the tube stations in London, but fortunately that was my only experience with rodents in least so far.


tomboy Dec 27th, 2005 07:21 AM

I'm grossed out by the thought of a homeless person seeping on the sidewalk, with rats licking up the seepage. UGH!

Tallulah Dec 27th, 2005 07:29 AM

A few years ago a tourist was so engrossed in watching the mice run around on the rails of Oxford Circus tube that she failed to notice the train coming and was smacked right on the head. She was OK apparently but it was bloomin' annoying that they had to shut the line for so long whilst trying to sort her out! :-)

I was also met a man a couple of days ago who told of his holiday in Turkey where they'd arrived rather late so went straight to bed. He and his wife woke up in the morning to find 4 large brown rats on the end of their bed - eugghhh!! They had left the patio door open slightly as it was so hot but as it was so late had failed to notice that their room/apartment backed on to a rubbish tip. When they complained they were told to just shut the door!

kappa Dec 27th, 2005 07:32 AM

In Venice, 3rd of December this year I experienced a serious acqua alta. The water was 50/60 centimeters high around Piazza San Marco. I saw more than a few things floating, including a couple of rats. There were more of dead pigeons floating though.

smalti Dec 27th, 2005 08:49 AM

lol, tomboy!

Bailey Dec 27th, 2005 09:02 AM

Been fortunate...haven't noticed any rats while traveling in Europe.

BUT... I just saved a mouse from the clutches of my kitten.

AND I remember the first rat that I spotted in Mahattan. Going to a movie on the lower east side...opened the car door...and bingo...a flattened rat. We were parked right outlside the theater....I spent the next three hours during the movie tapping my feet....hoping to scare any more stray cousins away!!

Travelnut Dec 27th, 2005 09:47 AM

Saw a rat running under the seats at the City Cinema in Amsterdam once.

GSteed Dec 27th, 2005 09:56 AM

True story! Neighbor is sitting on 'throne'. Splash! Disturbance below, he jumps up, rat has surfaced in his commode. Rat lives in sewer pipes. Other neighbors tell of similar occurrences.

Tallulah Dec 27th, 2005 09:59 AM

GSteed: Where?!?!? That is undoubtedly one of my worst nightmares!

Suzanne2 Dec 27th, 2005 10:11 AM

A snake would be my worst nightmare

Tallulah Dec 27th, 2005 10:13 AM

Suzanne - I used to have nightmares about snakes appearing out of the loo when I was a child. Then I realised that a rat was more likely... I live in London, apparently I'm never more than 6ft away from a rat.... :-(

WillTravel Dec 27th, 2005 10:45 AM

A bit more about the rats in the toilet, and some possible precautionary measures:

I'll keep a closer eye out when I'm on tube or metro platforms from now on. Although, maybe I shouldn't, actually.

DiAblo Dec 27th, 2005 11:39 AM

First off, Tomboy, thank you for saving me the trouble. I snorted coffee out my nose when I read your reply!

In the South and the Midwest snakes coming out of the 'loo are certainly NOT unheard of, puts an end to the whole “men leave the rim up, women like it down” debate. Close the darned cover!

A friend of mine was “having a seat” one morning at his office and heard a splash when there shouldn’t have been one. He peaked between his legs and, yikes, a rather large bull snake was looking up at him!

I have seen rats in London, New York City and in Paris. There is an old adage that in any major city, particularly the very old ones, that we are never more than arm’s length from a rodent. Either they are in the floor beneath our feet or in the ceiling above you, the walls, the sidewalks. What’s the worry?

I have watched the mice in the Tube in London with interest. Why hasn’t someone applied for a government grant and studied the rascals? It’s my opinion that they’ve surely mutated into deafness, what with the roar of the trains overhead every few minutes. You know, like the fish that live in the waters of caves have lost their eyes?

When no one’s looking I chuck the Tube mice a piece of cheese, bread, whatever. Kinda feel sorry for the buggers.

As we used to say in the 60’s, “Rat on, brothers, rat on…”

susanteach Dec 27th, 2005 01:57 PM

Saw ginormous rats in the inner courtyard of an apartment we rented in the heart of Krakow a few years ago. Wandering "home" after a night of alcohol consumption and running into these menacing guys as we're trying to get the fancy key into the centuries old building--moonlight on gray stones, garbage cans in dark courtyard...made me think I was in the 20's era. I screamed and woke up so many people that I got cursed out in Polish...I think.

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