There was only one match on the Confederations Cup's first Monday but that hasn't stopped our intrepid team from finding items of intrigue from all four host cities.
Day three of the finals included getting to grips with the Moscow's palatial metro, spotting Lionel Messi in St Petersburg and taking in the sights of a Kazan city tour.
Of course, there was the important matter of Germany against Australia in Sochi – a genuinely thrilling five-goal game witnessed by a crowd that had Leon Goretzka feeling a little lifeless.
Here are some of the latest best bits you might have missed from Russia...
MOSCOW'S A-MAZE-ING METRO
Most underground systems around the world are simply a functional way of getting from A to B as quickly as possible.
Not so in Moscow, where the Metro is a spectacular array of different architectural styles – from Baroque to Art Deco to Futurism.
Initially commissioned by Joseph Stalin to showcase the possibilities of communism, it remains a monument akin to a National Heritage site.
The grandeur of the Moscow metro system is something else. pic.twitter.com/P1L6XuLM0K— Jon Fisher (@fisherjon10) June 19, 2017
But, while that's all well and good, to us non-Russian speakers, it remains a place as baffling as it is beautiful!
Which way for Red Square, left or right?!? pic.twitter.com/TSrBg5w1gA— Jon Fisher (@fisherjon10) June 19, 2017
MESSI MAKES CONFEDS BOW IN ST PETERSBURG
Argentina missed out on a place at this tournament after losing both the World Cup and 2015 Copa America finals.
Those defeats to Germany and Chile mean Messi is yet to taste success on the major senior international stage but the Barcelona star has at least made an appearance in Russia. Well, sort of.
This proud waxwork was spotted by the Omnisport team on the ground in St Petersburg, standing in pride of place at a sports bar in one of the city's riverside complexes.
The likeness isn't too bad, although the hair and beard could use an update...
KAZAN'S CULTURAL CAULDRON LIVES UP TO ITS NAME
Often described as the meeting point between Europe and Asia, Kazan is a city boasting an estimable blend of cultures and faiths.
The Tatarstan capital boasts some incredible sights, including the Kazan Kremlin, Kul Sharif Mosque and Suyumbike Tower, but none quite sum up this brilliantly mixed-up city as well as the Kazan Family Centre.
The brainchild of sculptor Dashi Namdakov, this 32-metre building is designed to honour the city in a literal sense, given that the word 'Kazan' means 'cauldron' or 'melting pot'.
This vast cauldron-shaped space, which is flanked by dragon and winged snow leopard statues and is lit at night to give the impression of simmering flames, is first and foremost a wedding venue.
Outwardly ostentatious but with real human feeling at its core, it's a perfect summation of the region.
The Kazan cauldron, complete with winged snow leopards. Not bad as wedding venues go. pic.twitter.com/1CLYuWPtzU— Joe Wright (@JoeWright004) June 19, 2017
SILENT SOCHI GETS TO GORETZKA
Countless stars of the world game have been inspired to greater heights by a crowd roaring them on or hostile opposition fans baying for blood. But Germany midfielder Goretzka appears to be cut from a different cloth.
The Schalke youngster had a hand in Lars Stindl's fifth-minute opener in the world champions' entertaining 3-2 win over Australia in Sochi and won a penalty for Julian Draxler to convert, before rounding off an accomplished showing with his first international goal.
Such a proud moment might jar slightly for Goretzka, given he was sprung into action by how passively quiet the crowd gathered at Fisht Stadium were.
"I have to be honest, before the game in the players' tunnel it felt like a funeral because it was so quiet," he said, before offering some advice to eventual man-of-the-match Draxler over the task they were about to undertake.
"Then I said to Jule, 'Make sure to wake up the stadium'."
Thankfully for Goretzka, Draxler and company, Australia chose to be compliant with their surroundings and were soon caught napping.
FISH-T-Y GOINGS-ON AS ORGANISERS ENDURE ANOTHER BLIP
On the safe assumption Goretzka reads our daily diary with avid interest, it might be worth offering an explanation over the stony reception the 22-year-old found within Sochi's Olympic Park.
It seems someone behind the scenes at Fisht Stadium got their timings wrong because the pre-match ceremony – the unusual FIFA bells and whistles of Fair Play banners, big team letters, a centre-circle cloth and an atmospheric drum soundtrack – was laid on as the substitutes took their seats on the bench.
Then, nothing. No music, no teams and a confused silence. Many of the officially confirmed 28,605 attendance were yet to take their seats and the collective hush made for a surreal experience moments from kick-off.
The sideshow to all this was two small packs of photographers, roughly a dozen from each near corner of the field, being guided towards the players' tunnel to take their best shots surrounded by Russia 2017 volunteers chaperoning them with a big rope, essentially herding them like cattle.
In summary, Leon, it was quiet because people were trying to work out what on earth was going on.
|Nationals owner Lerner has leg amputated amid cancer battle|
|Rockies´ Blackmon leads a night of bizarre accomplishments|
|Wallabies captain Hooper dreaming of Bledisloe Cup success|
|Halep cruises, Muguruza saves match points as rain washes out play|
|Thiem, Dimitrov reach quarters in rainy Cincinnati|
|Klopp: No reason to leave Liverpool as Barca eye Coutinho|
|Montella happy with Milan progress|
|LeBron shows off new Goodyear Cavs jersey|
|United signing Matic from Chelsea a masterstroke - Robson|
|Durant: Irving situation not the end of the world for Cavs|
|Milan in ´advanced´ talks to sign Kalinic, Fassone tight-lipped on Ibrahimovic|
|Mayweather says he´s going ´straight ahead´ at McGregor|
|Centurion Root hails ´ruthless´ England after first day-night Test|
|Every sets early pace at Wyndham Championship|
|Barcelona to honour terror victims in LaLiga opener|
|Europa League Review: AC Milan on fire, Athletic Bilbao in stirring comeback and Fenerbahce suffer s|
|We were lucky - Koeman frustrated by Everton´s second-half struggle|
|DeMaurice Smith says NFL work stoppage in 2021 ´a virtual certainty´|
|Carroll hails Britt as center signs new three-year deal with Seahawks|
|Bonucci revels in ´wonderful´ San Siro bow as AC Milan destroy Shkendija|
|Classy Castleford secure League Leaders´ Shield|
|Everton 2 Hajduk Split 0: Keane opens account in comfortable Europa League win|
|AC Milan hit 24-year high in Shkendija thrashing|
|Hard day-night for Windies as Cook and Root dominate|
|AC Milan 6 Shkendija 0: Silva, Montolivo inspire Rossoneri to brink of Europa League group stage|
|Lyth thumps 161 as Yorkshire plunder 260 in T20|
|Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez lead tributes as football stands with Barcelona|
|Usain Bolt offered burgers and beer to join Portuguese football club|
|Hummels joins Mata in pledging one per cent of his wages to charity|
|Carroll poised for West Ham return at Newcastle|
|Arsenal´s Alexis Sanchez named in latest Chile squad|
|Ruben Yanez joins Getafe from Real Madrid|
|Winning start for host Lawrie, Molinari outlasts Karlsson|
|Double world champion James to swap biking for baking|
|Clement: Swansea can be stronger without Sigurdsson|
|Paulinho insists he can fit in at Bacelona|
|Gabi urges Costa to respect Chelsea despite desire to join Atletico Madrid|
|Frampton promoters confirm cancellation of Gutierrez bout|
|Mbappe left out of Monaco squad amid ongoing PSG links|
|Landajo retains place as Hourcade makes three Pumas changes|
|Zidane, Mourinho, Low, Conte and Guardiola to battle for Best FIFA Men´s Coach prize|
|Cheika: Wallabies will not copy Lions tactics|
|Azarenka may miss US Open over childcare issue|
|Bosz has ´no idea´ whether Dembele will stay at Dortmund|
|Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta and Kane among nominees for Best FIFA Men´s Player award|
|Hamstring tear ended Bolt´s World Championship dream|
|Messi not signing new deal would surprise Barcelona VP Mestre|
|Barca in ´difficult situation´ over Coutinho and Dembele|
|Former Olympic champion Sanchez dropped from Vuelta after failed doping test|
|Sharapova: I didn´t expect to play past Rio 2016|
|Sturridge fit for Palace clash|
|Cassiem handed second Springboks start against Pumas|
|LaLiga 2017-18: Messi in transition, Bale battling for his place - five stars to watch|
|Nothing has changed over Coutinho - Klopp|
|Barcelona´s Luis Suarez to miss four to five weeks with knee injury|
|James one of six Bayern stars out of Bundesliga opener|
|Eels inflict more misery on Titans to edge closer to Finals series|
|Tottenham midfielder Sissoko: No agreement with any club|
|Barca ´not a millimetre closer´ to signing Dembele - Watzke|
|Red Bull expect Verstappen to stay|
|Neymar money would fund us for ´15 years´, says Toulouse boss|
|Umar Akmal reprimanded by PCB after outburst|
|The wait is over! - Steyn teases comeback|
|Transfer market is crazy, admits £45m Everton new boy Sigurdsson|
|Barcelona complete €40m Paulinho signing from Guangzhou|
|LaLiga 2017-18: Madrid ready to tighten grip on bumbling Barcelona|
|Brighton tie Knockaert, Dunk & Duffy to new deals|
|Quintana commits to Movistar for 2018|
|Milan ready to fight for Scudetto - Kaka|
|Australia a dangerous beast, warns Hansen|