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Inspired by the mural art on the transformer station building, start the walk at Madlaforen, the marshland that has been a military training area for well over 100 years. Madlaforen describes a beck or marsh that is crossed by a path. Indeed, you pass the new dams under Revheimsveien and follow Møllebekken stream for a distance. The beck powered several mills during the Middle Ages and today is home to spawning sea trout and eels.
You ponder over Norwegian history at the swords in the rocks and cast your gaze out across Hafrsfjord. The climb up Madlalia and Gosenstubben is easily accomplished and with a spring in your step. “Gosen” comes from the name the Israelites gave to the settlement east of the Nile delta in Egypt.
Crossing Madlamarkveien, you pass Gosen school and step into the green open spaces of Madlamark. There’s not so much remaining of the fertile west-facing pastures at Madlagården, which up until the Second World War were one large swathe of arable land with many uses. After the war, agricultural land-use was gradually wound down and little by little, the fields became sites for housing. This is why you find architecture from different periods here.
In Anton Brøggers gate, you find houses with angular rooves known on the local grapevine as “Hitler’s teeth”, in reference to the coastal defences built along the coast during the war. In the open green park areas, you can still experience a little of Madlamark’s rich pastures and fertility.
Taking a brief diversion to Klovsteinveien, you pass a patch of trees and walk along Hognes gate, before the path leads you past the tennis courts. There’s an easy descent towards Molkeholen, where cows were once milked. During wintertime there’s an excellent sledging hill here.
With Madlaveien under your belt, Store Stokkavatn bids you welcome. Here you can experience the sound of breaking waves, share the rest of your sandwiches with the ducks or maybe even take a dip. And with the legacy of Harald Hårfagre fresh in your memory, you’re ready to rack up more walks.
The entire walk in passable with a stroller.
Let us know if you discover a problem along the way!