The well-worn steps wound up the tower, their narrow treads crying hazard, but my parents and I climbed anyway, as though we were conquerors dispelling Claustrophobia from the land. Two hundred and seventy-five steps coiling like a boa strained our legs and our breath, and, with no places of refuge, the only option was to continue upward or go back down. We took care to place our feet firmly on each step, not noticing how much time was passing. But making our way to the top was worth it. At the top of the Minster we could see everything lovely about York: the coarse, crooked red roofs of houses, the narrow, diagonal streets, the jagged, sauntering city walls.