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Getting around Vancouver can be an adventure in itself.

Getting around Vancouver can be an adventure in itself

Myriad inlets and bays give Vancouver a Scandinavian beauty. But for drivers, they also mean bridges and bottlenecks.

Happily, most of the city's major attactions are near the two Expo sites, and getting around without a car can be both convenient and fun. You can zip across Burrard Inlet on an efficient SeaBus, shuttle False Creek on a tub-like little "foot ferry,' sit back in a three-wheel pedicab, enjoy wraparound views from a cable-hung gondola, or test-ride the new SkyTrain.

You can also try some of the new double-decker buses, taxis, and highway coaches from Hungary, Britain, Italy, West Germany, and elsewhere that are part of the fair's celebration of transportation. Free rides convey you between fair sites. Sternwheelers and hovercraft also link the two areas for exploring by water. And city bus service has been beefed up for Expo.

Here are your options, with fares quoted in U.S. currency. For maps and details on city attractions, write to Vancouver Visitors Bureau, Box 11142, Royal Centre, Vancouver V6E 4C8; (604) 682-2222.

See harbor and city from SeaBus

A transportation mainstay since 1977, these 400-passenger commuter ferries connect the city center with North Vancouver across a 2-mile stretch of Burrard Inlet. The downtown dock is right next to Canada Place, at SkyTrain's Waterfront Station, and train tickets serve as transfers to SeaBus. Otherwise, one-way ferry fare is about $1.

The 12-minute ride gives you views of skyline, harbor, Stanley Park, mountains. A new public market, shops, eateries, and hotel at the North Vancouver terminal's Lonsdale Quay are worth a look.

SeaBuses operate daily between 6 A.M. and midnight, with trips every 15 minutes (every half-hour after 6 P.M.).

Pedicabs to Chinatown, Gastown

These slow-paced, pedal-powered rigs offer open-air rides to Chinatown and Gastown, through city center to Stanley Park, over to English Bay, as well as around Granville Island. Each carries two passengers, plus one or two children under 4. Canopies and curtains protect riders on rainy days.

You can hail one of the fleet of 40 cabs on the street; also look for them at Expo's East and West gates and at Canada Place. Hours are 9 A.M. to 3 A.M.; fares are roughly 50 cents a block for two. City tours (45 minutes) cost $15 for two; to arrange one, call International Pedicab at (604) 683-7202.

Pedicabs also shuttle visitors from Expo's north bus terminal (Pacific Boulevard and Quebec Street) to the fair's East Gate (about 75 cents; hours 9 to 9).

Hovercraft and stern-wheeler tours

Daily between 10 and 10, a small fleet of 40- to 150-passenger stern-wheelers and other craft shuttles between the American, Chinese, and Russian pavilions. Service is free.

Other vessels provide a waterway tour out of False Creek, up English Bay, under the Lions Gate Bridge, and across Burrard Inlet to Canada Place. Choose either new, high-speed hovercraft (28 passengers, about 20 minutes one way on hourly runs; $8.50 adults, $5.75 children) or the restored 1936 Hollyburn (250 passengers, 30-minute runs every 2 hours; $4.50 and $2.25).

From 10 to 10, boats leave the dock near Marine Plaza (middle of the fairgrounds).

Bird's-eye views on a Skyride

From the North Vancouver SeaBus terminal, take city bus 230, then 232 (use your SeaBus ticket to transfer) to Grouse Mountain Skyride (from downtown, take bus 246). The 10-minute gondola ride ($5 for adults) whisks you to a dramatic 3,700-foot-high point, with a restaurant and more lifts to still higher view points and hiking trails.

City buses to parks, beaches, museums

With schedules improved for Expo, city buses serve several major attractions:

Stanley Park. This 1,000-acre treasure includes an outstanding and just-remodeled aquarium (new pools killer whales), a children's zoo, 20 miles of forest trails, and a sea-wall pedestrian-bicycle path encircling the park (you can rent bicycles on W. Georgia Street). Here, too, are gardens, restaurants, and sandy beaches. Catch bus 19 on Pender Street; 75 cents.

The Kitsilano shore, southwest of downtown, has miles of beaches that are only minutes away on bus 22 (MacDonald); catch it on Burrard Street; 75 cents.

U.B.C. campus, with its outstanding Museum of Man (Northwest Indian totem poles, other artifacts) is reached by bus 10 (U.B.C.) from Granville Street; 75 cents.

Queen Elizabeth Park, a 130-acre preserve that boasts outdoor sculptures, a conservatory of tropical plants, a sunken garden, and the city's highest elevation, is served by bus 15 (Cambie); 75 cents.

Pedestrian ferries to Granville Island

Across False Creek from the west end of the main fairgrounds, Granville Island is one of the city's liveliest locales, with a thriving public market, theaters, restaurants, sea-wall promenades, and a variety of shops.

Two companies (Granville Island Ferries and Aquabus) operate 12-passenger "foot ferries' serving Granville Island, Stamp's Landing (on the south side of False Creek near Cambie Bridge), and the Maritime Museum (in Vanier Park, to the west). From Expo's West Gate, walk or take a pedicab to the ferry docks on Beach Avenue, under the north ends of the Granville and Burrard bridges.

The short shuttle from either dock to the landing at Granville Island's public market costs 70 cents for adults; it's $1 for the ride to the Maritime Museum. You can ride the ferry system end to end for about $2. Boats leave every 10 minutes between 7 A.M. and 10 P.M. daily.

To the fair, around town by SkyTrain

Bus lines have been rerouted to provide more connecting service to each of the 15 stations on the 14-mile SkyTrain line stretching southeast of the city center to New Westminster (maximum adult fare is about $1.25). Three new park-and-ride lots (up to 2,400 vehicles) have been opened in the suburbs of Surrey and Coquitlam, with shuttle connections to SkyTrain; your bus ticket serves as a transfer.

At the downtown Vancouver end, SkyTrain connects the main False Creek fair site-- served by Main and Stadium stations--with Canada Place, a mile away at Waterfront Station; rides between Stadium and Waterfront are free.

From Burrard Station, in the heart of downtown, you can stroll attractive Robson Square, enjoying rooftop gardens, multilevel plazas, waterfalls, outdoor eateries, and midday concerts. You may also want to see the Vancouver Art Gallery in the city's renovated 1912 courthouse, and the glass-roofed Law Courts.

From Main Station, you can walk a block west to Expo, or a few blocks north to Chinatown (second largest in North America). From Chinatown, continue northwest a few more blocks into Gastown, where Vancouver was born a hundred years ago. Today, this is the city's nightlife district, with jazz clubs, comedy revues, and discos. The brick storefronts house daytime attractions, too: antique and import shops, design stores, and restaurants.

For a comprehensive transit guide (50 cents), stop by the Visitors Bureau in Royal Centre downtown, any other information center, or any department store.

Photo: Low-riding SeaBus links downtown with North Vancouver across Burrard Inlet. Here, it's passing ship-like Canada Place

Photo: Pedicab gives rides around fair periphery. You can also take one to Gastown, Chinatown, around Granville Island, or for city tour

Photo: Grouse Mountain Skyride, 7 1/2 miles north of downtown by bus, offers lift on suspended gondola to 3,700-foot view point

Photo: Snub-nosed ferries take pedestrians from fair's west end to Granville Island, Maritime Museum. Burrard Bridge is behind

Photo: Elevated SkyTrain whizzes above cars near ticket booths at Expo's East Gate
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jun 1, 1986
Previous Article:Expo opens.
Next Article:Exploring British boat, train, plane, ferry.

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