Daily Archives: 08/30/2013

More about Matka

Just a few more words about Matka Canyon. It is a beautiful place just twenty kilometers from Skopje. It is easily reachable by the city bus (number 60) That takes you just to the place in about an hour. A price of a ticket is 35 Macedonian dinars, which is about 50 cents. This is a really low price for getting to the (relative)  wilderness, an oasis of nature with a refreshing river in the middle of the canyon, a paradise for thirsty, dirty and tired of city noise hitchhikers.

The river (O, dobra rzeko, o madra wodo.)

The river
(O, dobra rzeko, o madra wodo.)

It is a great place for one day getaway (as a hike to monastery that we did), as well as a starting point for a few days mountain hiking trip.

Admiring the views with the pedo cap

Admiring the views with the pedo cap on

The monastery

The monastery



I was personally absolutely charmed with this special place. Maybe that is way I got furious when I saw locals shamelessly littering the area and, even worse, throwing plastic bags and bottles to the river.

 Our place by the river. Sadly, full of rubbish when we got there.

Our place by the river. Sadly, full of rubbish when we got there.

First fire!

First fire!

But I guess it is a matter of lack of knowledge and information about environment. We thought it might be a nice idea to make some kind of environmental voluntary project there.

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Matka Canyon

Skopje-Matka Canyon

Skopje-Matka Canyon

We arrived to the Matka Canyon half past nine in the night. Even the bus driver asked us why we were going there so late. Good for us, we had someone waiting for us, a little dog that we called “Pulgi” (pulga=flea), who stayed with us until the next evening.



Because it was dark we couldn’t realize how beautiful the place  was. One kilometer away we find a small path near the river and then a lake between the mountains. It was impressive to find that in the middle of the night. Unfortunately at some point the path passed through a Hotel’s restaurant and the waiter told us that we had to pay 5 euros each to continue because the way was private. He also offered us a room for 30 euros. We had no doubt, we are hitchhikers, so we turn back. Pulgi also agreed.

It was a little bit scary because it was completely dark and deserted, but finally we found a nice spot to sleep after hiking a little bit, and crossing some goats.


Our home

The next morning we had a coffee in the only bar to charge our mobile phones and camera. I got very amazed when, “Caballero” a Julio Iglesias song sounded in the speakers, the weirdest and cheesiest singer and song ever. That’s my style, I like the place!

Then we were hiking for an hour and a half with all our stuff to reach a monastery on the rocks (St. Nicholas Monastery) . It was worth seeing. Pulgi stood there, probably praying for bones or some other delicious snack.



When we came back to the riverside, the place seemed like Jersey Shore in Macedonian Style. It was full of people, including families and groups of teenagers. To be sincere it was full of rubbish too. We were kind of upset to see how they don’t care about such a beautiful place. Even though it still remained interesting for us to see how Macedonians spend their Sunday.

We had our lunch on the river and  the Macedonians started to light their barbecues on the early evening. When the sun started to go down we walked to the nearest corner shop. The owner was the typical old woman you expect to find in a place like that. With a permanent smile on her face she managed to communicate with us with means of signs. She even gave us two chair for the time she spent to look for our change.


Matka Kanyon

Then we came back praying that no one had been occupying a perfect hidden spot we had seen in the morning. It was a magic place just near the river  but only accessible by crossing a bridge and walking 10 minutes trough the bushes. The perfect place for a wild camp. We got it, and just when it became completely dark we lit a fire in an already prepared fireplace. We drank some beer and we also started to write a song about our trip (soon worldwide available).


“The body”

The next morning we said goodbye to this special place with a morning naked bath in the river. Once clean and fresh we returned to Skopje and charged our food handbag in another strange shopping mall. Then we started to hitchhike.

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