(Almost) All Saints: Golden Cross
The area around Lake Matka, a half-hour drive west from Skopje, is a very popular place for weekend outings for citizens of Skopje. Matka represents a rear pearl of the nature, offering to the visitors a unique mix of natural beauty, cultural and historical sights, sport thrills, gastronomical enjoyment and much more… The Matka Lake twists between imposing cliffs, offering an opportunity for hiking, boating or climbing. Rear and endemic species of flora and fauna can be seen only here. Numerous caves hide their secrets in their depths. Few national restaurants offer a wide palette of traditional Macedonian meals. There are many reasons (and several caches too) to spend a day here… The breathtaking beauty of the nature, rough and gentle at the same time, will conquer your eyes and your hearth.
However, one of a special features of this area are numerous sacral (religious) objects dating mostly from XIV and XV centuries. Such a concentration of monasteries, churches and crosses on such a small area is very unique and represents an answer to a strong orthodox feelings of Macedonian people during the ages.
Cold morning over Treska River
This cache will lead you to a "modern" sacral object, a Golden Cross, which is majestically erected on a almost vertical rock above the Matka Monastery. If you look carefully you will notice that crosses, only much smaller, decorate rocky summits around Matka.
You can reach Lake Matka and this cache by bus, by car or a bike. The city bus (number 60) runs from central Skopje via Saray to the Matka dam (check the schedule on the JSP website, http://www.jsp.com.mk/VozenRed.aspx). By car or bike: go west from Skopje and turn left across a new bridge toward the municipality of Saray. Continue toward the village GLUMOVO. Behind the village Glumovo the road splits in two. Turn downhill left and continue through the village Dolna Matka about 2 km. During weekends and festivals the place is crowded by people and cars, so there can problem to park the car. However, if you come early in the morning it will be no problem to park.
It takes about 30 minutes to the Golden Cross. The trail starts at the Matka Monastery. It is marked red, on trees and stones. From the Golden Cross opens a magestic view toward Matka Monastery, lying down, Canyon Matka and Lake Treska north-west.
Matka Monastery from the Golden Cross
The cache is a small glas jar. Please, check the cache location first with a branche or stick; be aware of snakes, especially in the summer time.
Photos: original (by Galejnik)