Liverpool legal balloon ends up in Norway

Liverpool law firm Astraea Legal organised a Zoom event for its team and sent each member a party box with a helium balloon – one escaped and was found 700 miles away. Tony McDonough reports

Astrid Sandvik
Astrid Sandvik who found the Astraea Legal balloon in Norway


Norwegians heading to Merseyside for Liverpool FC matches is a well established tradition – now we are showing our thanks be sending them balloons.

When Liverpool-based criminal and commercial law firm, Astraea Legal, organised a ‘Zoom fun night’ on November 6, little did they know it would make an impact 700 miles away in Fosdalen, a valley next to the Skaala glacier in north west Norway.

Astrea hosted the event, which included a team quiz session, to welcome new team members from the recent acquisition of long-established Liverpool law firm Linskills.

Although the get-together was virtual, they arranged or each member of the team to receive an  ‘Astraea Legal Party Box’ made by local Christmas installation company The Festive Group.

Each box contained a large branded helium balloon to tie to their chair for the quiz, a bottle of wine/beers, some sweet  treats and some fun props. The evening was deemed  a great success, despite a few sore heads the next day.

The following morning, Rebecca Mackenzie, who had taken part in the quiz noticed that her three-year-old son Cory had removed the balloon from the chair and was enjoying playing with it and would not let go of it.

He went to give his dad a hug goodbye at the front door as he was leaving for work and lost his grip on the balloon and, through tears, watched it drift skyward.  Rebecca said: “It took me an hour to console him as he was so upset that his balloon had gone.”

The balloon then embarked on an epic 700-mile, eight-day journey across the North Sea before landing in Fosdalen. Astrid Sandvik, who lives close by in Fosnes in Stryn was out for a Sunday stroll on November 15  when she spotted the balloon.

The Astraea balloon flew 700 miles to Fosdalen in Norway


She said: “At first I thought it was a drone and thought it was strange as the place is far from people.  The shiny object disappeared out of sight, but a little further up the valley I saw it stuck in a tree, so I went and picked it out.”

When she got back home Astrid Googled the name on the balloon and saw that Astraea Legal were based in Liverpool. Astounded at the distance it had travelled, she got in touch with her local newspaper, Fjordingen, who contacted Astraea.

Astrid added: “It really is amazing!  It does not have much air left in it now, but I am happy to send it back to Corey if he would like it back.”

Nama Zarroug, founder and director of Astraea Legal, said: “The whole team is relieved the balloon has been found and can be safely disposed of. We are also so excited to have been contacted by our new friends in Norway and we can’t thank them enough for getting in touch and to Astrid for letting us know about this amazing journey.”

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