Monday, February 04, 2013

Agentura Smart

 Marta Suková was a vice president of the International Women's Group of Prague before the name was changed to IWAP. Agentura Smart has made my family’s travel plans many times. I asked Marta some questions on how she became involved in the travel business.

How did you start in the travel business? "In the international women's club, where I was a member, I offered to organize day trips in the Czech Republic. I wanted to show foreign club members rare and beautiful places of our country, castles and lakes, but also to familiarize them with diversified production, such as the production of glass in Nový Bor; making Christmas ornaments in Nelahozeves; production of leather products in Třebešín, etc."

Was it difficult starting your business? "We started the business in my house in the street Truhlářce in Prague 8, in 1992. Our business rapidly expanded; international guests wanted accommodations, guide services, transportation. We began to make reservations and sell tickets to all the world. Our operation was successful and the space in my house on Truhlářce become inadequate. It showed the need to relocate to the city center. The best offer was in Petrska Street in Prague 1. and we were given a great deal which I accepted. The success of our agency continued. Our headquarters is now in Biskupská in Prague 1. For our agency, it is most important to get a clientele that would allow our annual reports to be in the black. Due to this fact, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of our agency."

What are the services and products your agency provides? “In addition to selling tickets, airline, some train tickets, and some ferry tickets, we arrange business trips abroad  and organize social events, corporate and private meetings, company presentations, etc."

Agentura Smart has always been very helpful with my family’s travel needs  and is customer oriented. Sometimes I would go to Prague to pick up the tickets, sometimes they would mail them. Even when electronic tickets came out and our printer wasn't working, they have mailed the tickets.

I also love how they formed the name, Agentura Smart. It's made from her name--she's Marta with the last name of Suková. So, naturally, the agency is named Smart! And it is indeed smart!

About ten years ago, a young couple staying here with our family for a few months, enjoying the countryside, helping with the sheep, organizing the library, etc., wanted to visit Spain or Italy. I visited a couple agencies that were of no help. I also visited Agentura Smart and they, too, had nothing on tap.  A few days later an agent phoned me. "Would the couple like to go to Greece for a week? We have an excellent offer." I phoned back that "yes they would like this." Agentura Smart wrote the tickets. The young couple had a lovely holiday.

I feel so very secure working with this agency. Sometimes our requirements are a little strange, sometimes things change with airlines, but Agentura Smart always clues me in. I most heartily recommend them. Below is information on how to contact them. The website is in Czech, but everyone in the office speaks English.

Agentura Smart, Biskupská 6,Tel: 224 818 018,

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Easter Baskets

When my brother and I were young, our Easter baskets were never purchased. We made them ourselves from cardboard oatmeal containers cut in two, decorating them with crepe paper, cutouts and ribbons. (I suppose that when I was very small my mother did this. One year at Easter at my grandmother's farm – I think I was 3 - someone gave me a long, long ribbon which I pulled until I came to a stuffed rabbit.) As we lived in New York State there was certainly no hiding of eggs outside (In the snow?).

On Easter we see our son's children, Kristyna and David. The other grandchildren are celebrating in the USA. The photo is of Kristyna's and David's Easter baskets. Kristyna's is the one she carried when she was the flower girl in her aunt's wedding. David's is one from an oasis in Saudi Arabia where we lived for many years. His basket is made of palm fonds.

We color eggs. filling the baskets with these and jelly beans, some chocolate, maybe a little fluffy chick. My mother often put in a marshmallow chick or a bunny, but I have not seen these here.

Once we did have a stateside grandson here. Ben was only 1 ½. On Easter Monday our son took him out with his son and Ben's mother. In an apartment building the woman who answered the door handed Ben an egg, which he promptly dropped over the rail! The woman handed him another, in spite of his mother's protests. This, fortunately, he did not drop over!

Sometimes I look at the Easter baskets in stores, all decked in ribbons and cellophane, but, you know, they actually do not have all the things I put in the baskets. I never buy them.If I did, I would find myself immediately wanting to augment it.