Boats have always evoked a great sense of nostalgia in me. My grandparents had one moored in Mallorca when I was a child and we used to take family holidays there. Among my memories are ones of my mother passing coconut macaroons through the kitchen hatch while we were sunbathing on deck, and of sitting behind the captain's wheel eating jelly sweets. I'd be lying if I said that this romantic view of boats hadn't inspired my decision to book one for a few days in Barcelona last summer.
The boat I stayed on was moored in Port Fòrum on the edge of Barcelona. An area comprised of lots of concrete and the Parc del Fòrum event venue, it is a far aesthetic cry from the crumbling magnificence of Barcelona's famous Gothic Quarter. However, there is nothing quite like being among boats, each quay like a gently swaying row of cottages. I found the area to have its own sense of calm.
Before I visited, I'd had ideas of cocktail-bar hopping and city-street wandering every day, but the pace of life on the boat ended up directing the mood of my stay into something far more relaxed. Book reading, enjoying homemade tapas and Spanish wine on the deck and walking to the nearest beach rose high on the agenda. I would eventually make it into the centre of Barcelona to see some of the city's sights, but never in the mornings.