During the Stanford Chorale's semester in Vienna Austria in 1986, Phyllis and I journeyed one weekend with Suzanne and John Jost to Spital am Semmering - a beautiful small ski resort village about two hours from Vienna by train. We pre-arranged to stay overnight in a quaint bed and breakfast and then explore the magnificence of the area and mingle with the locals.

While walking along a narrow street we saw a confusing (to me) sign on the side of a building which simply stated, Achtung Dachlawine!


While our German language skills were fair, this was a phrase that we did not totally comprehend. Of course, we knew Achtung (attention) and we also knew Dach (roof) and Lawine we thought was avalanche, but what could that mean? As I walked nearer the building to examine the sign, I was suddenly and profoundly made to understand the full meaning of the word, LAWINE. I was turning my head to see what was unusual about the top of the building when many pounds of heavy snow slid from the steep roof and landed directly on me, knocking me to the ground. Fortunately, I was not injured but my German language skills were somewhat improved thanks to my teacher, Mother Nature. LAWINE is an avalanche. Dachlawine is an avalanche created when the many inches of packed snow suddenly slide from a roof and plummet to the ground. Now I know!

Dachlawine similar to what we experienced in Spital am Semmering Austria

For Pronunciation Click Here
DACH-Lah-VEE-Nuh (Dach rhymes with Bach)

Dachlawiene Icon
This might have been more helpful!

Return to Memories Index