I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Hungary. I was participating on an Eco Press Trip and a guest of the Hungarian Tourist Board - working on behalf, and representing, David Lindo (The Urban Birder). The hospitality of the Hungarian people was out of this world, I was so well looked after and the cuisine was some of the best I have experienced on my travels :) The tourist board showcased their delights of the Velence area, all the food was locally sourced and produced and I enjoyed it all so much. I had Grey Cattle beef, Wild Boar, Catfish from the lake etc and lots and lots of Palinka (Hungarian Brandy)!!!! On one of the days a Eco Conference was held with in excess of 100 participants. My group consisted of 8 representatives from both the media and travel sector and we all got on like a house on fire :) We were shown the ecological and bio-diversity of the area with a very hectic schedule, we only had 20 mins or so between trips out and meal times and it was thoroughly exhausting but wonderful too! The hotel we stayed in was fantastic, and we all had a balcony overlooking Lake Velence - just stunning! http://www.hotelnautis.hu/
The bird life was minimal as most birds have migrated and the ones that remained were nearly always distant but I did get some photos which I have yet to complete working on. I will post some at a later date. The habitats are just brilliant and Im sure in the Spring/Summer the birdlife will be awesome. I had some lifers, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Penduline Tit, Lesser Spotted Eagle to name a few.
The most difficult part of the trip for me was the travel to London and back by myself with over 30kg of luggage and gear! I had to negotiate 2 trains and 3 buses both ways (staying in a hotel before flying out and on my return) - and as I had no downtime at all in Hungary by the time I got home I was exhausted! But it was worth all the blood, sweat and tears as it was such a memorable trip! I wouldnt hesitate in doing it again :)
Like I mentioned earlier I will post some photographs in due course.