Human Journey

Caving in Macedonia

To borrow an old description, me trying to explore the Gornaslatinska Cave in Macedonia was like trying to push a camel through the eye of a needle.  Thankfully I had some good kneepads because there was a lot of crawling under stalactites and over bat guano to squeeze through the seriously dark, wet, bat poop covered claustrophobic spaces.  We talk about the adventure this week with my guide Stole Misev on my radio show National Geographic Weekend.

Boyd Matson, in his work for National Geographic, has been bitten, scratched, or pooped on, and occasionally kissed by most of the creatures found at your local zoo. What he refers to as his job, others might describe as a career spent attending summer camp for adults. Currently Matson is the host of the weekly radio show, “National Geographic Weekend.” Conducting interviews from the studio and from the field, Matson connects with some of the greatest explorers and adventurers on the planet to transport listeners to the far corners of the world and to the hidden corners of their own backyards. Matson also writes about his experiencs in his monthly column, “Boyd Matson Unbound” for National Geographic Traveler magazine, produces videos for National, and serves as a spokesperson for the National Geographic Society.
  • Richard Desjardins

    If wet bat poop is Boyd Matson’s most salient memory of Gormaslatinska Cave, he should stay out of caves and should certainly not post about them.

  • Xenophon Myart

    Your title : “Caving in Macedonia”
    is very confusing and untrue.
    Millions of visitors every single year are visiting “Macedonia” for vacations, the largest State in Greece.
    “Caving in Slavic Macedonia” ( they all speak Slavic not Macedonian) would have been more proper.

  • Igor

    @Xenophon Myart
    The place you refer in Greece is not a state it is a region… and it was banned to be called as Macedonia till 1991. The time when you realized that the exodus that was done against Macedonian People in Solun and the surroundings might bite you.
    PS. Great work Mr. Boyd. Amazing place to be visited – Macedonia!

  • Kristijan

    Why are these Greeks from Athens or Greeks that came from Turky been so rude about Macedonia most of Greece was slav or Albanian in the 12 Centry. There are many Greeks that are just Macedonians or Albanians with new Greek sounding names. Shame on the other posters making this about politics.

  • Alexandros

    Igor, please don’t feed us Marshal Tito’s former Yugoslavian communist viewpoints and misleading history. Macedonia as we all know from history is a region and three prefectures within the Republic of Greece. Please visit Pella, and yes Thessaloniki (as Alexandros named it) NOT solun both in Macedonia.

  • Nikolas

    to Kristijan , if you study Aristoteles you can get the answers my friend .Dont be so ignorant with history , by the way History=Ιστορία is unknown word for you but not to Nietze,Spinoza,Galileo ecc. Just follow their tracks and maybe you will find your way….

  • Toubekis

    It was very funny saying about bat poop. But you were right about beauty of Macedonia. It would be nice to make some travel to city of Ohrid, Macedonia. But the adventure there is awesome … thank you for showing this.

  • Martin Sluka

    Dear Greek friends: Macedonia as republic is Macedonia, Macedonia in recent Greek is name for part of Greece. Nothing difficult to understand, it is all about history. You may not shaking today’s facts and borders with more than 2000 old years history. As it is another fact that about 25 % of genes of population living in continental Greece are Slavian origin, etc., etc,. Only good nation is imagination!
    There are many other interesting caves and interesting regions in Macedonian republic, too.

  • greg

    First off its crazy that this article is called what it is called. I find it crazy that a county like FYROM want to be called macedonia when on 20% of FYROM is actually in Macedonia. Skopje was never near actual Macedonia. FYROM should be called VARDASKA or like all the wines they send out around the world Paravardarios….

    FYROM’s Association of Winemakers, which includes nine businesses, will export wines to to European Union countries under the designation of Paravardarios Wine. The designation was made on July 10 in Skopje and in the coming days it will be registered at the country’s relevant archive.

    Until recently, winemakers from FYROM were trying to export their wines to EU countries using the term “Macedonian Wine” as designation name, a fact that provoked reaction from the Greek side, as this geographical label has been enshrined by Greek and only wines coming from the regional unit of Macedonia in Greece are permitted to bear this label.

    If you were actually Macedonian maybe the wine you export would also be called that..

    Its sad that these people in FYROM are so uneducated about actual history.
    Go ask every true historian in any part of the real world what ancient Macedonians were and what they spoke and they will all answer on simple word GREEK..

  • Sami

    Macedonia is Macedonia, and Greece is Greece. Its time for the greek people to wake up.

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