Known 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.
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.
Smack 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.
©The Palladian Traveler