Fond farewell to Norwegian family

From finding a balloon in Norway to the wilds of Cork — it’s been quite the whistlestop tour for the Taule-Leikangers.

The family spent 12 days in Ireland after a finding a prize-winning balloon in Norway which was sent from West Cork.

Parents Linda and Viggo and their children Pernilla, Magnus, and Nora — all under 10 — flew home yesterday morning after enjoying almost a fortnight of Cork’s best hospitality.

Their final weekend saw the family enjoying the delights of Blarney Castle, a taste of traditional Irish music in Baile Mhúirne on Saturday night, and a final night in the pods at the Top of the Rock facility near Drimoleague.

Other trips they enjoyed along the way included a visit to the Toy Soldier Factory in Cill na Martra and hiking around the source of the River Lee in Gougane Barra.

The ‘Message in a Balloon’ was the idea of Dunmanway Chamber of Commerce, and the note found by Linda was tied to a balloon released in the town last Christmas.

It explained that whoever found it would be welcome to enjoy an array of prizes offered through sponsorship from local businesses.

The note contained the number of Catherine Crowley from Dunmanway Chamber of Commerce who took a call from the Norwegian family when they found the balloon and was with them as they toured Cork for the last fortnight.

“They left this morning [Wednesday] bright and early. They are delighted with the trip. They’ll want a holiday when they go back they are so exhausted, but they loved their time here,” she said.

The family spent their last day relaxing and enjoying a barbecue put on especially for them before enjoying a few drinks.

“They’ve had a ball. We even had a local hairdresser here give Linda a new look before she went back and she also got to enjoy a massage so she could fly home totally relaxed.

“They had been to Ireland before but only as far as Dublin before they had their children,” Ms Crowley said.

Given the welcome they received, DHL Express even came in to sponsor sending back some luggage for the family as they have been weighed down with gifts from people on their travels.

So next time you are out and about and spot a balloon, grab it. You never know what magical adventure it might bring you on.


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