Discovering The Emerald Isle: Land of Saints, Scholars and Clouds

Discovering The Emerald Isle | ©Tom Palladio ImagesKnown as the “land of saints and scholars,” Ireland, the ever-popular, emerald-green isle, has given the world the luck of its people, Saint Patrick’s Day, the narrative of James Joyce, the music of U2, the fast-paced choreography of Riverdance, the creamy goodness of Guinness stout, and its most famous export of all, clouds.


Yep, and lots of ’em, too.

Discovering The Emerald Isle | ©Tom Palladio ImagesI should know, I just spent a couple of weeks over the summer, mainly on the windy and unpredictable west coast, getting acquainted with Europe’s third largest island.

Out here along the Wild Atlantic Way, where Mother Nature first makes landfall after her long journey across the ocean, Ireland is hard at work, 24/7/365, overhauling hundreds of thousands of cirrus, stratus, cumulus, nimbostratus, stratocumulus, altocumulus, altostratus, cumulonimbus, cirrocumulus and cirrostratus clouds, and then sending them on their merry way.

Discovering The Emerald Isle | ©Tom Palladio ImagesSmack dab In the middle of the Twelve Bens (or Pins) of Connemara, County Galway — a mountain range in one of the wettest, windiest and, without a doubt, most picturesque locales in the entire country — sits a gigantic distribution plant where clouds from frontal systems born way out in the North Atlantic arrive in varied formations.

They’re sorted, nourished, fluffed, buffed, recolored in shades of puffy whites to foreboding grays, inspected then blown back up into the sky by enormous fans to continue their individual or group voyages to final hovering posts over Greater Europe and beyond.

Next time a cloud appears in the sky, take the time to look up. If it’s stamped Made in Eire, chances are it floated all the way in from Connemara.

Join me again along the cobble as I continue to experience the Emerald Isle and go in search of The Quiet Man and his fiery redhead around County Mayo.

Discovering The Emerald Isle | ©Tom Palladio Images

©The Palladian Traveler

Borsalino w/ props SMALL | ©Tom Palladio Images



Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him into and out of 50 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along the travertine and cobblestone that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway in the hills overlooking Ostuni. You can also follow his dispatches via and Anthology Magazine Ireland.


  1. We love Ireland @insightvacation – a stay in #Cong at #AshfordCastle is a true #insightmoments – especially for a genuine #thequietman like you @tompalladio


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