German Traveler Mistakes Sidney, US for Australian City | News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW | 29.12.2006
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German Traveler Mistakes Sidney, US for Australian City

A German trainee insurance salesman who wanted to visit his girlfriend in Australia ended up in smalltown America after buying a ticket online for Sidney in the US state of Montana, a press report said on Friday.


"Can't wait for those Aussie beaches..."

German mass-selling Bild newspaper said 21-year-old Tobias Gutt's detour was the result of a spelling mistake as he had failed to notice that the Australian harbor city is in fact called Sydney.

The mixup with 'y' and 'i' meant a difference of two continents, 13,000 kilometres (8,000 miles) and around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperature between his intended destination and where he actually touched down.

His booking confirmation indicated his destination as "Sidney, US" but even this did not deter Gutt.

"I thought you could fly to Australia via America," he told Bild.

Gutt finally realized that something was wrong after flying over the snowcapped mountains of Montana and being told to change to a small aircraft in Billings to fly on to Sidney, a town with a population of some 4,800.

Sydney Skyline

He did finally arrive in the city he wanted, albeit five days late

His friends and family back home in Treuenbrietzen in the east German state of Brandenburg raised 600 euros ($790) for a new ticket which took him through Denver to Los Angeles and on to Sydney at last, five days later than planned.

Gutt is staying with his girlfriend Laura until mid-January before tackling a return flight. "I will be booking on the Internet again, but I have not worked out the route yet," he said.

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