American tourist gets lost, becomes celebrity in Iceland

New Jersey native Noel Santillan has become a celebrity in Iceland after getting lost on his way to a hotel in Reykjavik and ending up in a small fishing village on the northern shore.
By Josh Curlee | Mar 02, 2016
A simple spelling mistake led American tourist Noel Santillan into Iceland's northern coast and into fame. Santillan was originally planning to stay in a hotel in central Reykyavik but ended up on a five-and-a-half-hour drive across Iceland when the GPS he was using led him to the wrong address.

The New Jersey native had just flown in from the U.S. and surprised an old woman in Siglufjrur, a tiny fishing village in the north of the country. The woman laughed and found him a place to stay in the small village.

"This was a pretty big mistake, but I just followed the instructions. [...] I was going to go straight to Reykjavik and was very shocked when I realized I had come to Siglufjrur," the sheepish tourist confessed.

Sigurlnu Kradttu, the villager who greeted the lost tourist, posted about the interaction on Facebook, where it quickly went viral. The story was featured on the front page of the one of the nation's most popular websites, and Santillan says he was recognized on the street when he finally made it to Reykjavik.

The kind host, in addition to finding Santillan lodging, also called the Reykjavik hotel he was looking for to let them know of his mistake. Hotel Siglo offered him a free night's accommodation after his blunder made the local press. Santillan's mistake has made him a local star and given the tourist the experience of a lifetime.

"I came here to encounter adventure and almost as soon as I stepped from the plane, I landed int he greatest adventure of my life."

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