A few years ago I did a road trip around Iceland with my daughter. She was 8 years old at the time and we were accompanied the whole way by David Caruso, better known as Horatio Caine in CSI Miami.
Not in person, you understand. Rather, he was spray painted on the side of the little camper van we’d hired from Kúkú Campers.
Each camper in Kuku’s fleet featured a celebrity. Dolly Parton. Amy Winehouse. Even Kim Jong-un. We got David Caruso, looking over his sunglasses in iconic Horatio-style.
The owner of Kúkú Campers, Steinarr Lar, had bought the vans second-hand from tradespeople fleeing to Norway for work after the Icelandic economy crashed in 2008.
They were Renault Kangoos, mainly, and after throwing a mattress in the back and an ingenious kitchen bar, accessible via the rear door, they provided a cheap and reliable way of getting around Iceland.
The celebrities were painted by Steinarr’s street art friends. Kúkú’s office in downtown Reykjavik was close to an abandoned block where they practised their art.
It was an inspired move. It was the early days of Instagram and the vans were perfect Insta-fodder. They also brought a smile to peoples’ faces wherever they went – both locals and tourists alike.
One petrol station attendant near Seydisfjordur was so amused that he gave my daughter a free strawberry yoghurt flavoured Magnum.