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Saas-Fee

Saas-Fee
Saas-Fee is the main village in the Saastal or the Saas Valley and is a municipality in the district of Visp in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. The villages in its neighborhood are Saas-Almagell, Saas-Grund and Saas-Balen. Its location close to the glaciers of the Dom and the Allalinhorn provides winter sport opportunities throughout the year, and neighbouring peaks such as the Weissmies, the Nadelhorn and the Lenzspitze are popular climbs in the summer season. The community is considered to be a very attractive winter sport destination in the Swiss Alps. Typical activities include skiing, carving, snowshoe trekking, canyon climbing and ice climbing. Saas-Fee offers 22 lifts, including 3 cable cars, 1 funicular railway, 5 gondolas (1 dedicated to walkers), 2 chairlifts, the remainder being surface lifts (draglifts). The ski run has a vertical drop of 1,800 m (5,906 ft), a top elevation of 3,550 m (11,647 ft) and covers 100 km (30 km beginner, 45 km intermediate, 25 km advanced). Other activities include snowboarding (halfpipe and park), paragliding, hang gliding, and tobogganing. Saas-Fee can be reached by car or bus—postal buses run during much of the day half-hourly from Brig and Visp, though none provides a service beyond the bus terminal through the length of the town during the winter. No cars are allowed to enter the city (they have to be parked in special car parks outside); only small electric vehicles operate on the streets (and some petrol-driven garbage trucks). The decision to exclude most motor vehicles was made by the village at the time of the construction of the road from Saas Grund in 1951. The resort offers many culture, sports and off-slope activities, including classical music, a sports and leisure complex, restaurants, and nightclubs. The resort features the highest underground funicular railway in the world up to the skiing area and the highest revolving restaurant in the world at 3,500 m (11,500 feet). The touristic slogan of Saas-Fee is "Die Perle der Alpen" (The pearl of the Alps). The campus of the European Graduate School, is located in Saas-Fee. Saas-Fee was one location where the video for Wham!'s hit single "Last Christmas" was filmed. The cable car that they get into to go up the mountain is labelled with the name "Saas-Fee" in the typical Saas-Fee font. This appears to be an artistic device as the cable car, now replaced by a more modern version, runs between the edge of Saas-Fee and Felskinn which is considerably above the normal height for residential buildings Houses are required to be 40 percent wooden, which is why the village often seems to blend in nicely with its surroundings.

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