Trip Start Nov 06, 2012
Trip End Dec 21, 2012

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Flag of Austria  , Tirol,
Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 20 - Tuesday 27th November

We woke quite early to get our 8.50am train to Innsbruck via Verona. After stuffing down a quick breakfast as the breakfast room opened, we trekked through a few streets and bridges to get a ferry to the station. The ticket office wasn't open and we didn't have any cash to buy a ticket on board. We took a big risk but made the few stops to the station without anyone checking tickets. According to our lonely planet guide it is very rare to get checked but we still counted ourselves lucky!

Being at the train station 40 minutes early meant Ash had another opportunity to take some photos of the Grand Canal. The light was pretty so it was worth it.

It was a one hour and 10 minute train to Verona where we had a one hour stop before getting our Austrian train to Innsbruck. The train ride was simply stunning. There were huge mountains and gushing blue-green streams. We went through the famous Brenner Pass where cars and trucks use and impressive bridge that is over 1300m above sea level. As we came into Innsbruck we knew we were in for a treat. The clouds that had been lingering through northern Italy had cleared and we got the most beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains surrounding Innsbruck.

We got off the train and orientated ourselves and headed towards the Hotel Innsbruck which was located in the Old Town. We must have taken the long way there but eventually found it and checked into our lovely room that looked over the Christmas markets in the streets below. Not wanting to waste a second of daylight (it was already after 3pm by this stage), we dropped off our gear and headed for the river across the road to get some shots. The mountains around Innsbruck are known for their ski slopes. There have been two winter Olympics and one youth winter Olympics held here. Apparently you can ski all year round thanks to a glacier on one of the mountains.

Next we headed into the Old Town streets. The Christmas markets had recently started so we browsed the stalls selling all sorts of produce, Christmas trinkets and most importantly for the locals, hot wines and punches... We are sure this is what gets them through the cold winters!

One famous attraction at Innsbruck is the Golden Roof. The roof of a building is foiled with gold and is a nice backdrop to the huge lit-up Christmas tree in the centre of town.

Both needing a new pair of pants, we ducked into the local H&M and spent around €20 each on a pair. With the shopping done, we noticed lots of young people walking into a make-shift bar selling this hot punch for €2 each. We decided to check it out! Turns out it was hot orange and cinnamon punch with rum. It's as hot as drinking a tea straight out of a boiler.

We headed back to the markets after a couple of drinks and decided to try one of the drinks at the market. It wasn't as nice but the mugs made good souvineers. The rule is, if you bring your mug back you got €2 back, kind of like a bond, but we wanted to keep ours.

We weren't too hungry so we just got a chicken schnitzel burger for dinner before heading back to the hotel. The hotel has a 'wellness centre' with an indoor pool, many saunas and relaxation areas. Ash was keen for a sauna but Lauren wasn't. Ash went up by himself and had a Finnish sauna experience.

We had an early night ready to get up early to take a few more photos in the morning before getting the 10.36 train to Munich. Innsbruck was great! We would definitely like to come back again soon!
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