Our first leg of the trip would be the drive from Dublin to Belfast and up to Pitlochry. From Pitlochry, we'd be driving up to Dornoch Castle and further up to John O'Groats...
Having packed our gear we headed north to Belfast and went with Stenaline to Cairnryan in Wigtonshire in Scotland. Our humans had Stena Plus tickets and we were invited to enjoy the lounge. McBear was delighted as it meant Scottish shortbread ad libitum...
After a long drive - and trying to escape rush hour Glasgow - we arrived Pitlochry for the night. We stayed at the B&B Derry Beg and it turned out to be a great place.
We had a new bear with us, but our humans had forgotten his name.
"Jezzz...!" McBear shook his head and had a look at the bear. "Hmmm... there's a tag fastened to your ear and it says Paws. That'll be your name, Paws, and since our trip will be recorded, your name will be remembered."
Paws was grateful.
We went downtown to enjoy the lovely atmospere in Pitlochry and we met a lot of nice people.
Just off the main street a brand new restaurant, the Fern Cottage, had opened only last week. Great food!
Next morning, before we left Pitlochry we had a look at our maps to plan today's drive to Dornoch.
We went through the Cairngorm National Park. Here, we passed the sign "Welcome to the Highlands". Wow!
Later, we reached Inverness, the capital of the Scottish highlands. Here we are at the welcome sign to Inverness.
Before we reached Dornoch, we went on a visit to a famous Scottish whisky distillery, Glenmorangie.
While Tom and Bamse went on a guided tour, McBear and Roger went to the
"I bet Tom would love a bottle of real Glenmorangie!" McBear said.
So we bought a bottle for Tom.
Here's Bamse and Roger in front of Dornoch Castle wearing their Scottish clan kilts.
"Wow! We have a four poster bed." Roger said excited after we had entered
Bamse was excited too.
"If you all behave nice, I'll let you have one pillow each - after all, I am the one who won the weekend stay..."
In our room a bear was sitting with a name tag around his neck. Henry was
"Have you been sitting here long?" McBear asked.
"Well, that depends..." Henry replied. "I am waiting to be adopted."
"It's a gorgeous gown you're wearing" Roger noticed.
"Isn't it just? It comes with being a Dornoch Castle bear."
"Hm", Roger pondered, "there's an idea..."
In the evening we had a game of Ludo.
Tom enjoyed his bottle of Glenmorangie and McBear enjoyed a huge bar of Walkers Shortbread. Roger and Bamse were wearing their Scottish kilts.
While playing, we discussed our Scottish origin.
"I am McBear and I'm a member of the old McBear clan", McBear pointed out.
"Well, I am now MacBamse of Dornoch - I'm a real highlander of the Sutherland clan", Bamse boasted.
Roger was getting a bit grumpy from all that bragging and boasting.
"And I am Roger... ehm... Roger Stewart - a real royal Irish O'Tall'er!"
When the game ended and it was time to go to bed, Tom was singing "There's whisky in the bar".
The next morning we had a lovely breakfast. Then we headed north for the day to
the very north easternly point of Scotland; John O'Groats. Wow!
We also went to Dunnet Head, the most northernly point in Scotland.
Having visited Thurso, we veered to the south back to Dornoch.
At John O'Groats. Here, a clan of Irish bears met a clan of nice Scottish ladies. It was great fun.
"You know what?" Roger said to the other bears. "Howabout we charge a fee when
people have their photo taken with us?"
"We could charge 5 Euros for a group photo and 10 Euros if people have their photo taken with me only..."
The weather was sunny the last day and Roger and Bamse enjoyed the little park behind Dornoch Castle.
Check out our video from the highlands.