Guide to SKOPJE

Bouldering between old monasteries in Macedonia

We find the gray-green stone hills above Prilep to be ideal

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When I read in the newspaper about the 250 boulderers climbing the rocks surrounding the Treskavec monastery, the first thing I thought was that we have the rocks for ,,Eurosport” and ,,Discovery channel”. I’m not into this sport a whole lot, I didn’t know that these guys were called boulderers, I didn’t know about the ,,King Marko (Krale Marko)” bouldering marathon, but I do know that the bolderers are going to take the memories from the surroundings with them, the challenge of the gray and green rocks, the monasteries and the towers…

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I’m a huge fan of nature, I love observing natural shapes, made by the eternal struggle of the wind, the sun and the water, I want to make photographs that capture all of that.


zelena karpa12_balkon3And, while we were thinking about making the weekend more interesting thanks to the internet we made a decision to go and see Prilep’s suburbs, and if you don’t know about the beautiful nature around here, just look for the monasteries, they will take you to the most beautiful, most spiritual places, that will sooth you and, “recharge your batteries” which are indeed needed for the stressful city life.

The new winding asphalt road took us to a place which will make you think that you are in front of the gates of a Tibetan monastery. That is Treskavec, a wonderful building seated in the rocks beneath the ,,Zlatovrv (Goldtip)”, with a view you can never forget. It dates from the 13th century, built in the remains of a church from the 7th century. With every step you take you can feel the traces of the spiritual life that the people here have.

The Church, protected by stone shelters, which unfortunately burned down in a fire a while ago, is standing peacefully there for centuries.

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I am honestly sorry for not coming here before, before the fire, and see these objects in their full beauty, but even the stripped walls testify the strength and insubordination of this place. Molded into the environment, like they risen from the grey-green rocks, defying the fire that caught it a few years ago.

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Above the monastery complex we can see ,,Zlatovrv (Goldtip)”. Nature has played with this adoration, it feels to me like God was building a city from the gray and greenish rocks and the wind was trying to break It. Together they made these wonderful shapes that watch over Prilep.

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Boulderers I wish you the best of luck with the rocks, but let nature win over your feelings.

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Then of course you will climb the top, and you will not be alone there, here is a friend to keep you company and wish you luck.

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Goodbye until the next Balkon3 adventure…

Biljana Ivanova

Photo: Biljana and Sasho Ivanovi