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Category Archives: WTF

About us – the truth

Today’s posting kicks off our 2nd year as bloggers and therefore we thought it would be a good idea to review our blog to see how we can improve the overall quality.

First, let’s take a look at the “About us” section. How did we describe ourselves a year ago? Does it reflect the Samandthedunes.com correctly? We are going over the text  (with a big rubber) to see if there is anything that needs to be changed.

“Hanna, a Swede who loves reading Dostoevsky” (Here it’s quite obvious that Hanna wants to portray herself in a certain light. But who is she trying to fool?  Sure, she read Crime and Punishment but on the other hand, who didn’t?)

“Alex, a Russian who knows everything about Stieg Larsson” (Yes, he read the Stieg Larsson trilogy several times but does he really know EVERYTHING about Stieg Larsson? Wait. Oh no. I think we are dealing with a full-fledged stalker here!)

“…and their little dog Sam (he is illiterate)” (Good point)

“…You will get to know more about Sam in this blog but let’s start by saying that he is very social and friendly, even though he has the annoying habit of gently (well, at least by dog standards) biting people’s hands.” (Well, the old lady Sam quite brutally attacked last month would probably not agree. Her entire hand was covered with blo… Oh, sorry, we promised our lawyer not to share the details.)

“Anyway, they love to travel, have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world” (…and some of the worst!)

“Basically they enjoy life, drinking good wine, reading, and spend a lot of time trying to find out what their most fitting sports activity might be (kite-surfing is not one of them).” (The truth is that kite-surfing is not a big enough challenge anymore. Nowadays we prefer skydiving – without parachutes.)

“Most of all they like to plan and plot their next trip…” (Unless we buy ourselves a home, we don’t really have a choice, do we?)

“Separately and together they have visited over 60 countries…” (Hanna visited 3, Alex 57)

“…and dined in places like New York and Chisinau (bet most of you don’t know where that is).” (New York is a big city located on the East Coast of the United States.) 

Sam prefers watching historical documentaries on BBC instead of reading books

Sam prefers watching historical documentaries on BBC instead of reading books

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Happy Anniversary – a year of blog, sweat and tears!

Today it’s exactly one year since we started our blog Samandthedunes.com and it has been a fantastic year full of traveling, eating and writing. We started out just for fun but since we got so much wonderful feedback from you, readers, we started to take our blogging more and more seriously. As of  today we have published 170 posts and looking back we can see that (at least) we had a lot of fun while doing them.

Basically it’s hard to summarize such an eventful year so let’s take a look at some unpublished, behind-the-scenes pictures instead.

We made plenty of nice dishes this year but many of them we never managed to share…

Mmm…fantastic meatballs but where the hell is the recipe!

Ha, ha, ha I just ate it…

We also made plenty of cool drinks but, again, we forgot to share…

On the other hand, many recipes didn’t turn out very well…no matter how much garnish…

This is the reason why we never shared any behind-the-scenes-pictures while grilling. Next year we should invest in some new kitchen equipment…

Sometimes we have been cheating…

Sometimes we have been fighting…

And that has made us highly respected in the travel blogging business…

We have been smoking cigars in Rome…

We have been sipping wine in Spain…

Mingled with the stars in Cannes…

Many potential hotel reviews have never been shared because of Alex’s “artistic” camera skills…

And sometimes Hanna just couldn’t focus on the right things…

But back in Laayoune…

We can focus on the important stuff…

And recharge our batteries for the next coming blogging-year

Sunset Buns

If you are stuck in the desert (see 5 tips on how NOT to travel through the desert) and are in possession of some flour, water, butter and most importantly a portable oven that works from the car battery, here is a quick and yummy recipe to make the night a bit more festive while you are waiting for the recovery truck. Mix in a spare tire: 2,5 dl flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 0,5 tsp salt 50 g butter and 2 dl milk.

Use a pair of scissors from the first aid kit and try to form the resulting mash into…buns obviously. Bake them for 15 minutes in 250C. Then, if you brought with you some Seville orange marmalade (if not, St. Dalfour’s pineapple and mango fruit rhapsody will also do) you can enjoy a late afternoon tea on the car hood while watching the sun go down over the horizon.

Puerto de Mogán – an arty cliffhanger

View of Puerto de Mogán

There are two ways to get to Puerto de Mogán (Gran Canaria) – by road or by sea. We suggest you avoid both. But if you do make it to the “Venice of the Canaries” (without being capsized or driving off a cliff) you will be able to marvel at one of the more amiable resorts on the island. This is an old fishing village that has managed to preserve all its original charm despite the large number of tourists. Cobblestone alleys, bleached houses and canals wake up the Rembrandt in you and with a few glasses of wine you start craving for a sketch book. Located in a valley, this tiny resort doesn’t take long to explore and you can easily stroll through the entire village at a snail’s pace in under ten minutes. We suggest you follow one of the paths snaking up the nearby mountain where you get a panoramic view of the choppy Atlantic (that nasty feeling that you are Rembrandt overwhelms you again). When the hunger kicks in (now, Rembrandt, please leave!) there is no lack of places to go. Most of the restaurants are concentrated around the boardwalk next to the marina and a majority of them serve fresh fish. Our favorite hideaway is an Italian trattoria located in the little market place. Here you can feast  like a 17th century painter who just received his sovereigns from the King. After a hefty dinner you may start thinking of which route to take back; this, we suggest, is best decided by ordering a triple grappa and flipping a coin.


Disclaimer: Mentioning Rembrandt in this story has nothing to do with reality. In fact, we don’t even know if Rembrandt visited the place. The drawing is of unknown origin but the signature suggests it may have  significant value.

5 tips on how NOT to travel through the desert

Do we have a spare tire? “No” Can you please pass me the water? “No” CAN YOU CALL SOMEBODY? “Actually…no”

One great thing with this category “travel tips” is that we can turn our most improbable mistakes into something extremely useful (without pretending it was actually us who made these embarrassing blunders).

Having said that, here are five tips on how NOT to travel through the desert:

  1. Before you go to the car rental to pick up your desert vehicle, make sure that you booked a four-wheeler and not a KIA Picanto. Having heavy trucks constantly overtaking you while driving this tiny city car will build up the sort of compressed air that makes you feel like you are constantly going backwards, in a tumble dryer.
  2. No matter what type of car you choose to travel with (unfortunately we booked that KIA Picanto), never, we mean never, forget a spare tire. This mistake we never made but who would imagine that we actually would have needed TWO of them!!
  3. When you are stuck in the desert (like we were), changing tire (of course), make sure you have plenty of water. Passing cars are usually very helpful but it is a pretty scary feeling standing in the middle of nowhere, without what every five-year-old knows is a top-priority in the desert.
  4. Later on, when you for the second time have to change  tire (still, without any water) then it’s interesting to see that your mobile phone might not have any coverage (trust us, this is a hundred times scarier than being without water). If you know how to do smoke signals, it maybe makes you feel like a true survivor but remember that nobody actuallly understands how to read these signs nowadays anyway.
  5. Bring music, lots of music. You will need entertainment since it will take a long, long time before the next car passes by and offers you a lift to the nearest gas station.
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