GPS Fail Takes Tourists on 750-Mile Detour

Bus driver went to La Plagne in southern France, not La Plagne in the Alps
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2015 3:46 PM CDT
Updated Mar 14, 2015 7:00 PM CDT
GPS Fail Takes Tourists on 750-Mile Detour
In this 2009 photo, Guilbaut Colas of France performs during the men's mogul World Cup ski event in La Plagne, French Alps.   (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)

A group of 50 Belgian tourists headed to the Alps for a ski holiday were slightly confused when they woke up from their overnight bus ride and found themselves surrounded by … vineyards in the south of France. The snow hadn't melted at La Plagne ski resort, their true destination: They hadn't made it there, because their bus driver followed the wrong GPS directions and took them on a 750-mile detour to a different part of the country, the Guardian reports. "There are three entries [in the GPS] for La Plagne in France, and I selected the wrong one," the driver revealed to Studio Brussel radio station, per the BBC. The journey started in Leuven, about 18 miles outside of Brussels. What should have been a trip somewhat to the south ended up really going south—which apparently the passengers didn't fully realize until the next morning.

"When I woke up at first light, all I saw were vineyards," passenger Sven Ceuppens tells the BBC. "Nice, but very uncommon if you want to ski." He adds that the group tried to tell the driver his GPS was steering them wrong, but he wouldn't believe them until they pulled out a map of France and showed him they were near the Spanish border. The bus made a U-turn at Toulouse, and the vacationers arrived a day late at the ski resort, where they were greeted with plates of Spanish tapas by trip organizers. Still, most of the wayward travelers took their unplanned trip in good humor. "We saw the Mediterranean and Carcassonne. #bus #lost #thirsty" was Ceuppens' tweet about his adventure. (If they had let a pigeon drive the bus, this never would have happened.)

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