Iceland Mag

10 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Entered an extra "r" in his GPS location, ended up in North Iceland instead of a downtown Reykjavík hotel

By Staff

  • Siglufjörður An American traveller who had just arrived from New York thought he had found downtown Reykjavík in the small fishing village of Siglufjörður, populaton 1,200. Photo/Pjetur Sigurðsson.

An American traveller who found himself seriously lost after following the directions of his GPS system. Instead of taking him to his hotel on Laugavegur street in downtown Reykjavík, it directed him to the small town of Siglufjörður in North Iceland. Siglufjörður is a five hour drive and 380 km (235 m) north of Reykjavík. The reason? Instead of entering the address Laugavegur the man added an extra ‘r’ to the word asking for directions to LaugaRvegur.  


Siglufjörður town in North Iceland Instead of driving from A to B, the unlucky American drove from A to C. That's a five hour drive to the north from Reykjavík. Map by Google Maps

Thought this was some kind of joke
According to the local news site a woman living on Laugarvegur in Siglufjörður was surprised when she found the man standing on her front steps. Sigurlína Káradóttir tells she thought the whole thing had to be a joke: “He knocked and asked whether he was at the correct address, and I just looked at the piece of paper, and then him, and I thought this had to be a joke.”

Read more: GPS equipment directs travellers to Þingvellir farm instead of the historic site

The man asked Sigurlína whether the hotel where he had booked a room was anywhere nearby. She then explained that he was trying to go to Laugavegur street in downtown Reykjavík, not Laugarvegur street in Siglufjörður. “He didn’t know what to do or how to turn in this situation. So I invited him in and offered to call the hotel.”

Checked the address twice, still got the wrong directions
Sigurlína tells that the man, who was an American traveller who had just arrived in Keflavík after a five hour flight from New York, had rented a car with a GPS system. He had entered the address into the system and proceeded to follow its instructions. However, he had begun to suspect something was wrong after having driven for some time, with no hotel in sight. He therefore entered the address twice more, but each time the system directed him to Siglufjörður.

While the drive from Keflavík to Reykjavík takes less than an hour, driving all the way to Siglufjörður, which is 380 km (235 m) north of the capital, takes at least five hours. The drive would also have taken the man through the suburbs of Reykjavík on his way to the north.

The extra "r" seems to keep coming up
It should be noted, in the traveller’s defence, that in some internet listings the hotel is in fact said to be located on LaugaRvegur, rather than Laugavegur. Twitter user Þórey Rúnarsdóttir posted these screenshots commenting that it is understandable that a foreign traveller would have a hard time seeing the difference between Laugarvegur and Laugavegur if the operators of the hotel can’t see the difference:



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