I've finally gotten my Italy photos up in a semi-coherent form. Since I was at it, I decided to be timely about my Dublin trip this weekend. They're both on my 'recent page.
A funny anecdote:
When I went through passport control entering Dublin from the UK, the officer was by far the friendliest that I've ever encountered. She asked how the trip was, how long us "lads" were staying in the country, and so on. She made sure to write on our visas though (two stamps, not just one), that we were supposed to leave the country in 3 days, just as we had said we would.
When reentering the UK (after 3 days in Ireland), we went through to passport control and before even entering the main que, were asked if we were arriving from Ireland. On saying that we had just come in, we were told that there was no need to go through passport control, just show our boarding pass at the exit, and we went right through.
Needless to say, I was a bit shocked – the UK passport control has been the toughest that I've ever seen. Constantly checking my student visa, and assuring that I was still planning to leave when it expires in 4 weeks.
What I gathered from all this was: Ireland is a separate country, but the UK just doesn't really care. International Politics are funny.