Boxing Day was a free day – no organised trips and no supplied meals except breakfast. Along with most of the group we took the funicular railway (stunningly designed by Zaha Hadid) up to Hungerburg and the Nordkette mountain range, but we stopped short of taking the cable car onwards and upwards. There were crowds of skiers going up into the clear blue skies and it looked like quite a squeeze! Instead we took a path that led upwards through some woods and spent a little quiet time on our own watching the local birds and squirrels (which are the same species as the UK Red Squirrel, but with much darker fur).
In the late afternoon we found a restaurant and had an enormous meal of pork schnitzel and apple strudle, before taking another wander through the night-time quiet of Innsbruck.
On the following day (27th December) we took the train from Innsbruck to Jenbach and then the narrow gauge Zillertahlbahn to the resort of Mayerhofen. There we wandered through the town, watching the skiers negotiating the pavements in their ski boots, browsing the shops (a little), admiring the chalets and finally we were treated to an amazing rainbow coloured sun halo when it went behind one of the mountains.
The next day we were up early to catch the train to Verona. We then boarded a bus for a guided bus tour followed by a guided walking tour. I think I’d like to go back to Verona, but if I do I won’t be doing the obligatory walk into the crowded courtyard to gape at Juliet’s Balcony and admire the lovesick graffiti on the walls!