Bay of Biscay – 1960s Travel

I thought it would be fun to talk some more about travel. I have always liked exploring places, on foot. I can’t now, but could in the past. You get such a good feel for a place. And I like to remind myself of all the places I’ve visited and some I have yet to.

At Sea

Note the optimism.

A Ferry Memory

I started travelling overseas at the age of 5 years old. And can still remember being stuck on the upper deck of a ferry travelling around the Bay of Biscay on the way to Lisbon, Portugal amidst extremely bad weather in late August early September, 1960 something.

Bay of Biscay

My parents enjoyed driving down to Southern Europe and myself and my siblings benefitted from the experiences. On this occasion they had added a large section of travel by sea. Usually only using the English Channel crossing which could be pretty rough.

Map of Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is widely known among sailors for its violent storms and rough seas. The Bay faces some of the harshest weather conditions in the Atlantic, mostly during the winter season. Gales exceeding 113 km/hour are usually common from October to March. The southwestern part of the bay is covered by large intense fog triangles during the early summer and the late spring season.’ Source: World
Rough Seas

A Helping Hand

During this very rocky ferry journey, through a force ‘several’ (I don’t know the number) gail, I couldn’t open the huge weighted door to access the very steep slidy grey steps get down to the cabins. It was pretty difficult to remain upright in any case. Not that I knew which cabin I would need to find. A steward kindly discovered me in the night hours sitting alone on an equally slidy bench seat and escorted me down to my parents. That was the 1960s! Parents were far more chilled about where you were, well mine certainly were.

Parent and child

On the following day I remember burning my mouth on freshly cooked chips and not enjoying cold milk to sooth the burning. But it was a nice ships cafeteria and I quite liked being there with people, the aroma of food and smiles. Although my family did not! Can’t think why! Hahaha!

French Fries

My first child had the equal ability to eat during ferry crossings in Asia, turning their cousin’s face green when merrily offering round honey sandwiches and oat cakes! Have snacks will travel! It was necessary to be prepared depending on where we were going.

You’re Not Welcome

On our return home. My primary school teacher, however, did not take kindly when I had missed the first week back of the autumn term. And took great delight in humiliating me. Along with announcing my fringe was too long. Sorry not sorry, I much preferred climbing out of a villa window to explore, eating freshly baked crusty Portuguese bread (heavenly), breathing in the scent of warm pine trees and supping ice cold homogenised chocolate milk!

Chocolate Milk

Far better than than obligatory warm school radiator milk offering which I would suck through my teeth in an attempt to cool it. It didn’t work and I have detested milk of the dairy variety ever since. Along with the cow bondage issues involved, but that’s a seperate matter. I’m no saint, I do eat cheese. I also was glad to move up to my next year group. I think my parents avoided delayed returns in future forays abroad.


My exploratory nature emerged early. As I would often wander off and get lost. I was fortunate to be among trustworthy people and was duly returned to my parents. After an announcement and description via the intercom where I had been seated by a desk whilst the search ensued.

Person At A Microphone
Ignore the laptop!

That would be why I attached my particular wandersome toddler to an extended wrist ‘lead’ for want of a better description when travelling by air. I did receive baffled looks. My response would be – ‘fancing chasing an extremely speedy one year old through departures whilst minding your other child and luggage! No? Me neither!

Child Exoloring Steps

Countries I Have Visited

I am being completely self-indulgent now and list the countries I have visited. It reminds me that I have actually lived prior to the onset of MEcfs 18 years ago. I’m fortunate.

World Globe
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on

The countries are:

  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • France
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Switzerland
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Wales
  • Netherlands
  • Italy
  • Sardinia
  • Menorca
  • Majorca
  • Gibraltar
  • Hong Kong – we lived here for 5 years.
  • Macau
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
    • Bali
    • Java
  • Australia

Closing Thoughts

I hope will indulge me as I share some stories from travels to these places, from time to time. I just love chatting about travel. Hopefully they will be entertaining and I will certainly enjoy recounting them.

What is one of your favourite travel memories?

Have a blessed day

Happy exploring!

Penny signing off
Doodle of yellow flower in a mint green flower pot.


2 thoughts on “Bay of Biscay – 1960s Travel

  1. My favorite travel experience is using a 2 month Euro-Rail pass ($180 CDN at the time) and traveling between northern Norway and Rame and many places in between on a budget of $60 CND. Many innovative ways to tour over a dozen countries, strange encounters and endless memories

    Liked by 1 person

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