I put my hand on the iron handrail and inhaled the deepest breath I could. A few tears dropped out of my eyes, like birds that unexpectedly drop out of the sky. I was expecting the tears when the Abbey came into full sight. Certainly, not at the foot of almost 200 hundred steps. I didn’t know what was waiting for me at the top of the stairs, it was to be a sight that up to this point had no equal. With each step I said a word. I started with colours and then flowers, books, movies and family. I thought about different constellations, but I realised I only knew Orion the Hunter and the Milky Way. Goddesses and gods, Greek and Roman, took me through steps 50 to 65, not too shabby if I do say so myself. When it came to the Norse, I could name only Thor, Odin, Freya, and that trickster Loki.
The steps were worn and narrow; I made sure I kept my eyes firmly on my feet. I didn’t want to trip and hurt myself before I reached the top. When step 199 was under my feet, I turned on the spot to witness the view. It was a miracle I didn’t faint and topple down to the bottom. Whitby village hugged the horseshoe shoreline and the North Sea glistened all the way to the horizon. It was a thrill that left my body shaking with adrenaline. And then I turned away from the sea, and honestly, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A graveyard of tombstones that looked like wildflowers, swept down to the sea. St Mary’s Church stood complete in the background and just beyond I could see the top of the Abbey ruins. My trip so far had many extraordinarily beautiful moments, I honestly didn’t think anything would top Georgian Bath...I was wrong. I mean I knew the Abbey was going to be off the scale, but I hadn’t even reached the Abbey and I was trembling with emotions.