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After a day in Skopje, we stopped by Lake Matka Makta on our way to Ohrid. Matka Makta for my non-Macedonian/non-Bulgarian speakers means womb. I am not sure how important it is to know but the Lonely Plant explains this so I felt some obligation to do the same. There you have it. Matka Makta is womb.

So I guess that means I checked out Macedonia’s womb. That’s kind of weird though. Anyhow, we explored the lake, the canyon and the river that make up Matka Makta in a couple of hours.
Green blue river of Lake Matka
The lake is beautiful and was created when the Treska river was dammed. The water is a lovely blue-emerald green color. I’ve never seen anything like it. H., the science teacher on our trip, told me that it’s because of the rocks the canyon is made out of. Ah, Science.

After this trip I’d wholeheartedly recommend vacationing with a science teacher. H. knows all sorts of great things–like what’s the difference between a billy goat and a goat? And she put up with my ridiculous questions: like what would happen if you crossed a chicken and a peacock?

She also knows practical things like the names of plants, trees and flowers. How great is that?!


Hiking along Lake Matka
The river Treska
Anyhow, the lake, river and canyon were beautiful. We had a coffee next to the lake and then went on a walk. A walk that turned into a a hike about 30 minutes in. We thought that we were headed to a monastery. Turns out we weren’t. That was a different path.

We were just walking along a cliff enjoying the view, throwing rocks, whistling, taking pictures and otherwise enjoying ourselves. The walk was never difficult. It was pretty even and well marked. It just wasn’t going to the monastery like we thought it was.
Along Matka
These things happen sometimes. Luckily for us, we weren’t in a hurry nor were we really disappointed not to see the monastery. We were going to walk there to walk there so when it wasn’t where we thought it was no one was really too worried about this.
Irises along the Treska
Irises up-close
So we walked and walked and the path became less and less well maintained. At some point, we began to suspect that something was up but we kept walking. The scenery was lovely and the weather is wonderful so we didn’t really worry about things but at about the hour mark we decided that we’d better turn around so that we could actually drive to Ohrid in the afternoon rather than at night.
P. and H. at the muddy river bank
On the way back we scampered down a very steep hill to the water. The shore was incredibly muddy. The kind of mud that you sink into in a big slurp. P. took her shoes off to put her feet in the water and we all decided to follow suit. The water was cold and the mud was well muddy but the day was warm and we figured that the mud would dry and the we could brush it off. This is more or less what we ended up doing. Sitting in the sun on rocks, we joked around about our free spa mud wrap. Yeah, that’s dried mud on my feet that wouldn’t come off–not even with the help of a few green leaves.
Muddy feet
After our 2+ hour walk, we found ourselves back at the lake. The good think about hiking in a canyon is that’s pretty hard to get lost. The river is on one side of you and the rock cliff face on the other. There we ordered plescavita and beer. Yum, yum. There’s nothing like grilled meat and a cold beer at the end of a long walk.
Beer Dab
Then we walked down the hill to our car and drove to Ohrid. Not a bad adventure if I do say so myself. I had a great time. I hope this comes through in this post because frankly, it’s not as easy for me to write about a hike as it for me to write about rambling through a town or checking out a new restaurant.Tree in front of the Treska River
Nature along the Treska River

5 Responses to “Outside of Skopje: Lake Matka”

  1. nadejda says:

    emmm it is Matka not Makta for the record…

    nice post, looks like a great fun :)

  2. Charlotte says:

    Those pictures are gorgeous! It looks like you had a good time too. And for the record, I also enjoy it when my science teacher friends talk science with me!

  3. [...] a post on day two of the long weekend we just spent in Macedonia (which, for the record, was [...]

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