Storm carries balloons 2,000 kilometres

Storm Dennis blew a promotional campaign by a restaurant in the East Flemish city of Oudenaarde seriously off course. During the storm the restaurant released a number of balloon with gift vouchers covering the cost of a meal at there. The idea was that people in the local area would find the vouchers and go and eat at the restaurant. However, such as the force of the storm that at least one balloon flew almost 2,000 kilometres to Belarus.  

During the period around Valentine’s Day Charlotte Van Zele of the Økkerennoot restaurant in Oudenaarde decorated her restaurant with red heart-shaped balloons.  

She told Radio 2 East Flanders that "We didn’t want to just throw them away so we decided to tie gift vouchers to them and to release them. Anyone finding a voucher could come and eat here for free”.  

"There was a lot of wind when we released the balloons at the start of the week. We didn’t think that this would be an issue. A couple of days later we received a message from Belarus on Facebook. Someone road that they had found the balloons and vouchers”.

Initially Charlotte Van Zele thought it was a joke. However, further investigation proved that it was no hoax. Although those that found the vouchers didn’t understand the Dutch text that was written on them they did have the presence of mind to find the restaurant on Facebook and make contact. Ms Van Zele says that she intends to look into finding a way to reward those that found the vouchers almost 2,000 kilometres away.