Getting Around in Norfolk

It’s been a while since my last blog post and I have now moved from Oslo to Wells-Next-the-Sea where I’m part of the team keeping the turbines at Sheringham Shoal spinning, providing pure energy to 220,000 UK households.

One of the eighty eight 3.6 MW turbines spinning at Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm.
One of the eighty eight 3.6 MW turbines spinning at Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm.
Second day at work: Site visit!
Second day at work: Site visit!

If you’re a loyal follower, Wells-Next-the-Sea (or just Wells, as the locals call it) is the lovely seaside village where trainee colleague Sara spent one of her trainee rotations last year. So naturally I asked her for some advice before moving here. Although we trainees receive upfront support in terms of moving, travel and housing, it is certainly good with some colleague-to-colleague advice on all the small details related to moving somewhere new for six months. One thing that I realised quite soon was that transportation would be an issue in Wells. I will therefore devote this blog post to the joys and challenges of getting to and from work.

Steering wheel on the wrong side...
Steering wheel on the wrong side…

First, I rented a car. Driving on the right (wrong) side was not as tricky as I had expected but as the date for me to return the car approached I started thinking: I have never had the need for a car before and what makes me need one now? So I decided to try to get around in Wells without a car. My apartment is not too far to the office so why not try running? There is a great variety of asphalt and gravel roads through the fields, paths through the woods and even a beach, all ideal for running. And once one makes it to the office there is showers and locker rooms for freshening up before starting the work day. Great routine!

Exploring new routes to the office...
Exploring new routes to the office…
Wells' lovely beach!
Wells’ lovely beach!

But then reality strikes! The weather in the UK is, unlike in the picture above, not always great… I don’t know about you, but my conscience is fine with cancelling my planned runs if the weather is too wet or too windy. So I thought that it might be a good idea to have a bike as back-up. I mean, biking worked perfectly fine all year round through five years at university in Sweden, so how could spring and summer in the UK possibly be any problem? The bike arrived on my doorstep a few days later and has been working great to get around, not only for the trips to the office, but also for short weekend excursions.

My new bike!
My new bike!
Biking to Holkam Hall just outside of Wells-Next-the-Sea.
Biking to Holkam Hall just outside of Wells-Next-the-Sea.

But although the bike and the running shoes gets the job done for most of the days. I wouldn’t have made it this far without Andrea, who’s also here on a rotation from Statoil (one of the co-owners of the Sheringham Shoal wind farm). Because, some days it is quite tempting to accept her offer to pick me up as she drives by my apartment on her way to work…

Andrea picks me up for work!
Andrea picking me up for work!

All in all, (with some support), I’ve managed pretty well without a car so far. Now I’m just hoping that Norfolk will get nice sunny weather for the summer months I’ll spend here after Andrea has moved back to Norway…

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