Know and Go / Best Bets
Marking slavery’s endThis year, Britain commemorates the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade with several events and exhibitions.
According to the British tourist board, the country’s merchants transported almost 3 million Africans across the Atlantic. The practice helped Britain become one of the world’s greatest powers in the 17th and 18th centuries. It officially ended with the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.
Some of the exhibitions in London include:
• “The Atlantic Trade and Identity Season,” a varied program at the British Museum through Jan. 10 (www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/tradeandidentity).
• “Portraits, People and the Abolition of the Slave Trade,” a varied program at the National Portrait Gallery through July 22 (www.npg.org.uk).
• “Understanding Slavery: Collection Handling Session,” a hands-on session with slavery- related material in the National Maritime Museum on the last Sunday of the month through November (www.nmm.ac.uk).
• “The British Slave Trade: Abolition, Parliament and the People,” at the Houses of Parliament May 23 to Sept. 23 (www.parliament.uk).
To honor abolitionists who worked to end the slave trade, a walk is planned June 4 to July 11. The 470-mile Saniofa Walk will take 40 days and will visit the major slave ports of London, Bristol and Liverpool. Find details on the Web at at www.lifelineexpedition.co.uk/mota.
Horse musicalIf you’re a horse lover, Bern, Switzerland, has a double treat for you.
The 56th Bern Exhibition for Commerce, Agriculture and Industry takes place from April 27 to May 6. Among its livestock events are four large horse shows.
At the same time, the musical “Le Prince” is being performed. It’s the story of Louis Henri de Bourbon, the seventh Prince de Condé in Chantilly, France. The prince loved horses so much that he wanted to come back as one in his next life. He hired architect Jean Aubert to design and build the Grandes Écuries, grand castlelike stables that could house more than 300 horses (the Web site for visitors is www.chateaudechantilly.com).
The colorful musical story includes 51 actors and 72 horses in two hours of special acts. The show is at the BEA horse fair April 27-28 and at the Berne Arena May 3-5.
Depending on seating, tickets range from 38 euros to 248 euros (in the Prince’s Box with champagne).
The show will move to Zurich to be staged Dec. 13-16. For more information, see www.horsemusical.com.
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Venice hosts a noncompetitive walk and run Sunday that crosses many of the city’s bridges. The event, called Su e Zo per I Ponti (“up and down the bridges”) is open to everyone. It has two routes, both beginning at Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) and winding through the narrow streets and squares of the city. The 5-mile route crosses 42 bridges, while the 3½-mile one crosses 28 bridges. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. with a Mass. At 10 a.m. all participants gather in the square for opening ceremonies and then begin the race, which officially ends at 2:30 p.m. Participants can run or walk either route. Registration costs 4 euros; a ticket with return waterbus ride costs 6 euros. Details on the Web at www.tgseurogroup.it/suezo/en/informazioni_en.htm.
On Sunday and Monday, the people of Zurich welcome spring with the annual Sechseläuten, or Six Chimes, festival.
On Sunday, there is a children’s parade. On Monday, the city’s guilds take to the streets in a procession with up to 7,000 participants in historical costumes, plus horses, bands and floats. They end up at the Sechseläuten Platz, where the “Böögg,” or Old Man Winter, waits. The Böögg is filled with firecrackers and sits on a bonfire. At 6 p.m. he’s lit and the mounted guildsmen race around the burning effigy to say goodbye to winter.
The Zurich Tourist Board offers more information at www.zuerich.com.
— Jayne Traendly