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Location: Tarragona, Spain

On today’s bright August morning, the crew woke up somberly, for it finally dawned upon us that we would lose two integral parts of Vela. Darius and Tom, your vibrant presence aboard will be missed, and we will cherish all the memories we made with you. After a light breakfast of cereal, clean-up, and a short rest, we set out in the sweltering heat to meet our walking tour guide of Tarragona, who would show us the city and Roman ruins. Tour guide Lores was bright and knowledgeable, always keeping us engaged, as she led us into the museum at the end of the dock and through the windy streets of the old city. We learned about the importance of the Tarragona (Tarraco) to Rome that which is the oldest Roman city in the Iberian peninsula, and about the city’s conflicts with Carthage. The museum was filled with intricately carved slabs of marble, statues, busts, gold jewelry, and large mosaics, all found in the Roman ruins under the modern city.

Our walk through the city was lovely. Lores led us through the quaint little streets and the large busy avenues, which are rich with history and culture. The buildings were practically built inside the ancient city wall! We stopped at a farmer’s market for lunch, where many of us bought an ample supply of fresh fruits and Jamon sandwiches, and we were again on our way. Lores brought us to a turron shop where we all had a taste of the local delicacy, and we then went to the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona. We then finished our tour at the Roman amphitheater. Following the tour, we went our separate ways, some to the beach and others to shops and restaurants. Today was a day of history, appreciation, and goodbyes, and it was a great experience.

At dinner (which was almost untouched despite the menu of chicken parm (we had eaten local paella and ice cream during our free time), we welcomed Shona aboard, a great new addition to our crew. We look forward to getting to know Shona, and we hope we can make this remaining Vela trip memorable for her! The squeeze question of the day was “What is one thing Shona should know about our group?” and we ended it with a squeeze, clap, and a hug.

The Vela crew has a lot to look forward to tomorrow with a navigation master class and shore time in the afternoon, as well as Freddie as our new captain!

Love,
Ines

PS: Tom and Darius, if you’re reading this, we love you and wish you the best in all your endeavors!

Photo 1: Ceci and I in the early morning doing sheet masks. Thank you, Anna, for taking the picture!
Photo 2: A statue of Venus in the archaeological museum.
Photo 3: From the left, me, Ceci and Keally enjoying a Jamon sandwich during lunch.
Photo 4: Turron tasting session with Lores (in white).
Photo 5: The beach and the amphitheater.