Canyon Matka – Part 1: Pathways

Week 1 here in Macedonia has been successfully survived. It’s a long-established truth that the more disaster you expect, the less you will get (like bringing an umbrella to prevent the rain), but it was still exhausting, and some recovery was in order. Apparently it is trendy to use nature exposure these days, so that is what we – my two Lithuanian colleagues and I – proceeded to do. This will be a long series of posts, because I finally had the time, the freedom and the unhurried companionship to take a… decent… amount of photos. So, here is part 1: Pathways (which will be in two parts). Let us take a walk! Also OMG it’s been so long since I posted!

©rq, all rights reserved.

Our visit to Canyon Matka started in the early afternoon, with lots of golden sunlight in the beginning, but in the mountains, darkness comes rather quickly, and by the end of the trip, the whole canyon was in shadow. We took a suspiciously constructed boat out to the caves (for later!) and decided to walk back. I will admit, my fingers were mostly itching not to take pictures, but to get my hands on some of that delicious, delicious rock all around us. Sitting quietly in a boat while some serious tactile experiences go floating by? Neh.

At any rate, it was a good walk back – I would say the trail is not for those with a fear of heights, although compared to some locations I have seen, this one is not particularly extreme. Well, except in the places where some falling rocks had taken out the railing. But the general feeling was safe. My two colleagues did not let me do as much climbing around as I wanted to (I had some serious leftover anxious energy), though I do admit – looking back – that this was probably for the best.

Let us proceed!

This is actually before the boat ride, on the left is the dam of the hydroelectric station. It is quite impressive and will appear in a later photo). ©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    That is some gorgeous rugged terrain there. The light givens an air of mystery.

    In Finnish matka means trip or distance and to travel is matkustaa, so I can say: “Rq matkusti Makedoniaan ja matkansa aikana kävi retkellä Matkassa. Matkan kanjoni on 15 km:n matkan päässä Skopjesta.” In English “Rq went to Macedonia and during her trip went to an excursion to Matka. Canyon Matka is 15 km from Skopje”. Word by word: “Rq traveled Macedonia-to and trip-her during visited excursion Matka-in. Matka’s canyon is 15 km’s distance’s end-of Skoje-from.”

  2. voyager says

    What an incredible place. There’s so much colour in the rocks and the water looks so deep and mysterious.
    I’d love to take that walk in person. I’m not afraid of heights and your photos make the place look quiet and peaceful. I’m a tactile sort of person, too. I touch things everywhere I go. I hope you managed to run your hands over some of that gorgeous rock and that maybe a stone or two made it to your pocket.

  3. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    Now that is some serious fun with language, one of those curious linguistic coincidences that make communication so confusing yet strangely rewarding! ;)

    The water was deep, but it was also incredibly clear and this gorgeous green colour, probably to do with the mineral content. I was quite surprised about that, but I got some good photos demonstrating the colour and clarity. I think you’ll enjoy them!
    (And yes, I put my hands on some of those wonderful cliff faces. So good. As for stones in my pockets, well… ;) )

  4. Nightjar says

    Oooh, rocks! I’m going to love this, I just wish I could touch them through the screen…

    Kudos to the bushes and trees growing in unthinkable places. Life is amazing.

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