I am not a sport person, not even a little; however, I do occasionally enjoy going out and watching professionals play. It often gives such an interesting insight into the interests of the people! From hockey in Montreal to football in the UK.
As you may have recently noticed, going to watch a football game in Scotland is on my Ultimate Scottish Bucket List.
Well the perfect opportunity came when the Brit’s dad was coming up from England for the weekend and they were headed to the football – they asked whether I’d like to join and, in the spirit of saying yes to experiences like these more this year, I jumped at the opportunity.
We left quite early after noon on that Saturday to head into Edinburgh. It took forever to find a parking and so we had a quick lunch at Nando’s before walking with the mob toward Tynecastle – where the Hearts of Midlothian play, which is the team that the Brit’s family has been rooting for for generations.
I was being a total tourist/blogger and taking photos because I knew this would make for a great post!
To go in, you go through turnstiles and I wish I had taken a photo! The stadium dates back to 1914 and, since we had seats in the old part of the stands, we had to go through tiny little slits in the wall they dared called an entrance. I thoroughly enjoyed the old feel of it. It looked straight out of a British movie from the 1970s.
From there we went up to the very top row – our fault for waiting last minute to get tickets – and tried to sit in the seats. I was a bit uncomfortable because they were such tiny seats with almost no space for the legs. Of course I quickly realised that if I was a bit tight in the seat, it meant the Brit and his father (both standing above 6f) could not even sit. Cue laughter. How hilarious is it that this stand was built for seemingly small people.
Thankfully we were in the last row and could stand – which we did most of the game. It also kept us warm as the temperature had dropped for that weekend and it felt like the start of a Canadian winter, with snow falling on and off throughout the game.
The football itself was nothing impressive – reminding me a bit of the MLS and the Montreal soccer team. I guess I mostly watch football at world cups, so this definitely felt slow and a bit clumsy.
However, I loved watching the interaction of the crowd with what was going on on the pitch. The sudden waves of applause, or the roaring thunder of disappointment and outrage whenever something bad happened to their team. From the chants – which I didn’t catch one word of – to the standing cheer for every goal.
There was an obligatory drunk guy, to the smell of steak pies, to the fascinating fact that alcohol isn’t allowed in the stadium. The whole experience said so much about British and Scottish cultures. While I’m not sure I would go again – next stop Scottish rugby! – I thought it was fascinating!
Ever been to a football game? In Britain? What did you think?xx