As part of an occasional series of ‘what else you see at football grounds’ posts, I thought I would share what else I can see from my seat at Easter Road, that is, of course, apart from the holders of the Scottish Cup. For those who don’t know, Easter Road is in the east of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. The ground is made up of four large, modern stands. I sit in the newest of them, the East, built in 2010, and it’s a fine place to watch the game, affording an excellent view across the whole pitch, high enough up to see everything that’s going on without being able to actually distinguish which players are which. I just paid a considerable sum to be able to sit there next season too, hopefully watching Premiership football every other Saturday. Can’t wait.
Anyway, the main view from the centre of my universe is provided through gaps between the stands. To the south the Pentlands are in view as well as David Hume Tower, part of the University, and the church just up from the Meadows. Between the West and the Famous Five, it is mainly chimney pots and Corstorphine Hill in the distance, though I only noticed on Saturday that also prominent on the landscape is the tower of Fettes College, one of Scotland’s more elite private schools and alma mater of one Tony Blair. Less said about him the better, except Fettes is probably more of a rugger sort of place since after all it breeds the right sort of chap. Aye, right. Reminding us it comes to us all eventually, though, is the nearby chimney of the Western General Hospital.
On my way to the ground on Saturday, I proceeded to take the longer route since, as ever, I was running early, walking the full length of Leith Walk. At the Foot, I was still well ahead of time and considered either walking down to the Water of Leith or along to Trinity House, choosing the latter option as it was only the other side of the New Kirkgate centre. Trinity House is a maritime museum, managed by Historic Environment Scotland though it’s only open by appointment. It was shut as I came up to it though hopefully I will get there soon. It’s been on my radar for years – someone I used to know worked there – but not quite encountered yet. It’s a very fine mercantile sort of building, a very pleasant contrast from the concrete shopping precinct that surrounds it.
Across the way from Trinity House is South Leith Parish Church. I’m not usually a fan of cemeteries – the last one I was in was Glasgow’s Necropolis, which is beautiful in its way – but I enjoyed the few brief minutes I spent in the kirkyard, reading some of the grave inscriptions, and realising that it’s now spring judging by the crocuses and daffodils shooting up. There was also a nice bit of sculpture and a plaque commemorating all those buried in Leith without a marker or a gravestone to distinguish them.
From there I headed for the ground though I took care as I headed down Easter Road towards Albion Road to look towards Salisbury Crags, one of Arthur’s Seat’s peaks, as it rises high above the old Abbeyhill school and the city streets below. Often the football, particularly when drawing against Dumbarton, becomes secondary to what’s around you and the walk definitely becomes the main event.