“What in the fuck?” I said to myself.

“It’s closed,” the girl at the next car said, and I realized that maybe I talk too loud to myself.

I’m in Sinai all pumped for my first time riding a Romanian ski resort. After a confusing morning trying to track down the city bus that takes you from town to the base of the mountain ($1 USD/15 minutes), I finally arrived to find the gondola is not moving at all.

“It’s the wind,” her boyfriend told me. “It will be closed all day. But we are heading to a ski area nearby if you want to come. It’s not very large.”

And like that, I’ve thrown my snowboard into the back of their car and I’m on way to a mystery spot with two Romanian strangers. As promised, Busteni Ski Area is not the largest place I’ve ever been. Here’s the trail map.

It may not be the most exciting day on the hill, but it’s amazing to have some great company like Diana and Tony along with the one of the best chairlift views I’ve ever seen in my life. After a few runs, I realize that the mountain in front of me is one I attempted to climb before (the less said about that ill-fated venture, the better). During the afternoon, I plot my return in the fall to conquer this nemesis.

If you’re looking for a beginner/family-friendly mountain, Busteni would the place to visit. Most important, there’s a lodge at the top of the lift where we were able to settle down with a few mugs of hot mulled wine, a wintertime specialty in this part of the world.

Oh, and here’s a castle on the drive back home!