Prague is just as enchanting and delightful as we found the city on our first visit almost 12 years ago. On this day, pleasantly, we followed the royal route to the castle in crisp but sunny weather to Prazsky Hrad, Prague Castle. 
Karlovy Most (Charles Bridge) was pedestrian-full, and there were small queues at many of the statues, touching each for luck.
At the entrance to the castle complex, the guards maintained their composure in spite of being reduced to tourist photo ops. And yes, I was guilty of taking photos, too. 
We toured first the Golden Lane, the street belonging throughout history to alchemists, the poor, criminals, and craftsmen.  Now the Lane is a series of tiny brightly colored houses offering Czech handmade items.

At Number 14 is the restored home of Matylda Prusova. She lovingly maintained the home in anticipation of the return of her son from WWI, and daily held salon for visitors who wanted a view into the future, “reading” the odd collection of items she kept in her home. This continued for many years, and because she frequently predicted an early fall of the Third Reich, she was arrested by the Gestapo and tortured to death.
At the end of the Golden Lane was the entrance to the prison. A beautiful gate leading to misery.
St. George’s Basilica was our next visit, the oldest surviving church building in the castle complex.

From here we paused for lunch on the terrace of the Lobkowitz Palace, enjoying warm sun and restorative Czech cuisine, welcome fortification for the afternoon ahead.