Having arrived to a large reception, West Cork’s newest high-profile visitors have been sampling the best the region has to offer after their unlikely prize win.
The Taule-Leikanger family from Norway found a balloon while hiking last month, not realising that it had been released by the Dunmanway Chamber of Commerce, before Christmas.
Attached was a list of prizes put forward by local businesses who assumed that the balloon might make it as far as a neighbouring county but few expected it would land over 2,500km away.
Since arriving on Friday, the Taule-Leikanger family have been treated to a tasting of food from local producers, have taken in some Irish traditional music and have been touring local sights.
Having been greeted by a large group with banners and balloons at Cork Airport, the guests of honour were brought to Dunmanway where locals gathered in the town square to mark their arrival in the town.
“It’s been brilliant so far, they have been lovely and we’re having a fabulous time,” Dunmanway businesswoman Catherine Crowley said.
“They have been the most easy-going and fun guests, we couldn’t have asked for a nicer family,” she said.
Ms Crowley said the Taule-Leikangers have visited Fota, attended a duck race in Dunmanway, were guests at the Belle of Ballabuidhe pageant in the Parkway Hotel, and had a tour of Ballinacarriga Castle.
“They loved the castle in particular, the architecture fascinated them and they were full of questions,” Ms Crowley said.
Next on the itinerary is a hike up Nowen Hill and a visit to the famous Ballabuidhe Races, where Linda Taule-Leikanger will attend Ladies’ Day today with a hat sponsored by a local boutique.
The family are to stay in West Cork until August 10.
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