GPS Mishap Takes American Tourist on a Wild Adventure

Noel Santillan, an American tourist, ended up on a wild goose chase upon his arrival in Iceland, when he accidentally put in the wrong address for his hotel into the GPS system in his rental car. He had a room booked at Hótel Frón on the main thoroughfare of Laugavegur in Reykjavík, but he entered an extra “r,” for the address, spelling out Laugarvegur. Several websites that list the hotel’s address make this same mistake, which explains Santillan’s error.

The 28-year-old visitor had just flown five hours from New York and was tired and looking forward to checking into his hotel. He rented a car from Avis and set out on what should have been a very short drive. But due to his error, the GPS led Santillan through the suburbs of Reykjavík and then further north. Following the directions, he continued to drive for over five hours.

Santillan told interviewers at Vísir that he suspected at certain points that he was going the wrong way, but trusting in his GPS, he simply continued. He described himself in his interview as an adventurous person. He first became interested in Iceland in 2010 after the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption. As he drove, Santillan marveled at the scenery and wanted to stop and take pictures, but refrained because the roads were icy and the weather was becoming bad.

His journey eventually took him to the northern town of Siglufjörður, population 1200. He arrived at his “destination” and knocked on the door of what turned out to be the home of Sigurlína Káradóttir. When he asked if his hotel was nearby, she thought he must be joking. Realizing his mistake, Santillan was a bit embarrassed, but Sigurlína invited him in and called his hotel in Reykjavík to tell them the situation. She kindly got him a room at the local Sigló Hótel.

As he told Vísir, Mr. Santillan is very happy in Siglufjörður, having had such friendly treatment after his adventure. He still plans to visit the Capital and stay in his originally reserved accomodations.