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GPS: All roads lead to...a tiny Austrian village

Since July, the software for Garmin's popular GPS devices has tried to direct a bonanza of tourist traffic to Preitenegg, Austria, seen above.

Perhaps you've never heard of Preitenegg? No surprise: It has fewer than 1000 residents and sits in mountainous country about halfway between Vienna and Venice. TripAdvisor lists one restaurant with one review ("Greasy and not tasty") and several hotels a few miles away.

But, for the moment, whether you're headed from Lands End to John O'Groat's, or from Paris to Berlin, or, indeed, from anywhere to anywhere, Garmin lists a detour through Preisenegg as a recommended alternate route. There have been no reports, though, of travelers actually taking the suggestion, much to the sorrow of locals.

Garmin says it's now found the answer, a bug in the software, and promised that "we are currently working on a solution and will resolve the problem already with the next map update." In my family, we call the GPS "Sibyl," after the legendary Greek priestess who always spoke the truth—even if mortals misunderstood it. Perhaps she lives in Preitenegg.

Photo: Google


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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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