Up on the path the cars are struggling with the frozen road. Around us the trees are immersed in the snow. On the Transbai forest road winter is fully installed making this trip an adventure. The first 20 minutes seemed to pass quickly. We are equipped for off road but with all our efforts and the snow chains, mid-way towards the 1.700 m altitude chalet – where we were expected to visit the sheepfold – the ice defeated us. After several attempts to climb the slippery road, we gave up and called for help.
When you’re making plans to enjoy a delicious Bulz ( hot sheep/ goat cheese inside baked polenta) waiting to be rescued from the middle of the snow becomes challenging . I feel my frozen feet hurting but the cravings for bio food is higher. I have no intention what so ever to miss out on the opportunity to have lunch at the sheepfold Baiului, on top of the mountains. Honestly, how many times do you have such a chance?
So we laugh, joke, take pictures to pass time. Soon, a Jeep Aro M461 engine is heard in the silence of the forest. When the car is near us, we all start exploring the vehicle. Made in 69 “it is unbeatable” as the owner says. So we all embark in the back (about 10 people!) and start the arduous ascent to the summit. Needless to say how much fun we had. Better yet let’s skip right to the moment when I stopped in front of Stana Baiului. Up the mountain it feels like the top of the world. The herding dogs, huge and shaggy, came barking. From the grill a heavenly smell of roasted meat fills the cold air. We are at 1,700 meters altitude, in deafening silence. Not a soul outside of a few shepherds who manage the settlement.
“Come in for lunch please, everything you eat is produced here, in the mountains”
You know how many times I get to hear this statement in the capital? 0! How to refuse such an invitation when you know that all the food on the table is truly organic, free of chemicals and artificial flavors? Therefore, I sat quietly at the table. The cheese plates are first in disappearing. So good is the cheese that we get a generous portion for back home. The price per kg is acceptable so we all made supplies, not to pass by the supermarket any time soon. Meanwhile my friends started devouring the plates of steaming fried sheep specialties, sprinkled with the traditional cherry brandy (for us ladies) or boiled țuica. It felt like time stopped in that afternoon, so unreal seems this place. After lunch I went for a ride to photograph the landscape. Enough though to step outside the path and fall into the snow up to the waist. Great!
The icing on the cake, if I may say so, was the moment of leaving. That is when the shepherds came out wearing the traditional shaggy cuşma and we were all – oaaauuu! Pictures time!. Especially since each of us grabbed the chance to be photographed wearing them. Photos to put on Facebook, of course. Those in which you know you look silly but it is worth the trouble.
So here’s my recommendation for a day at Bușteni mountain resort: climb to the sheepfold Baiului for soul food and an experience to further tell your friends.