Accidental Tourists

We have successfully added another sub-genre to the ever-growing variety of tourism crazes.  You’ve likely heard of “Eco-Tourism” and “Dark-Tourism,” but we’ve just created a whole new classification we are calling “Accidental Tourism.” 


The story beings with two happy travelers. We have one destination in mind but a multitude of options to get there.  And, depending on what we want to see along the way, there are no less than six possible routes. 


So we take out our phones, open an app, and innocently decide which one we like best.  (This last step is where plans will go awry.)


On the road we set up blue-tooth navigation and for a few days everything is going as planned. At some point we arrive at yet another toll booth, except it is NOT a toll booth. It’s a country border.  So instead of fumbling for change we dig out our passports—and with bewildering looks spreading across our faces that betray our confusion. 


Simultaneously we sheepishly say, “What country are we in?”  


The border guard gave us a wide stare and tilted his head ever so slightly in wonderment, and then asked, “Where are you going?”


We tell him we are headed to Austria for a motorcycle race. He grins back, but what he is grinning about confuses us—is it the mention of the motorcycles? Mentioning motorcyles often make men smile. Or perhaps he’s amused by our poor route planning?”


“Oh,” he states, as if to confirm something we’re still super unsure about. 


He closed our passports with a snap and thrust them back into our car window.  “You are going the right way!”


The barrier went up and across the border they went. The welcome sign didn’t do much to clear things up—Uhhhh… Magyarország?! 


The lesson one could extrapolate from “The Great Map App Mishap” is that Google’s attempt at being “sensitive” to border disputes by marking them with lines impossible for the human eye to see even zoomed in, leaves the likely possibility that you will often be lead astray.


In the age of these new-fangled maps, pretty much the only way that these online map boundaries will become quite clear is when you find yourself in front of a border guard. We can now confirm this clears things up real fast.


And here the story ends, happily-ever-after, with the two travelers driving off into a lovely Hungarian sunset.

This welcome sign didn’t really clear up our location-ary conundrum…



The only thing that was evident was that we were in John Deere country.

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