Currently, for an organization to get a license from the U.S. Government (Departments of State and Treasury are involved) to take Americans legally to Cuba under the "People to People" program, it has to organize a "full time" program and we attendees have to sign an affidavit that we will attend all program activities.
As an example, the venerated tour company Abercrombie & Kent reportedly obtained a license and then advertised the trip in the NY Times with a picture of a mojito, and promptly had their license yanked (no pun intended).
So, this is serious tourist business. Which meant that free daylight walking time was between 7am and 8.30am (at the latest), while still allowing time at the breakfast buffet. In the case of the Hotel Nacional, that meant choosing between a walk on the Malecón (the seafront promenade) and mini pains au chocolat. Oh maaaaan!.
Long story short, sketching time -- insufficient even on the most casual of group tours -- bordered on the non-existent on this one. I knew that going in, but couldn't help whining about it every day. So, the sketches were done where and when I had a few minutes, and aren't necessarily representative or fully-colored; the photo-taking had to come first. I also would like to express my thanks to my dining companions, who put up with my sketching instead of conversing!
The one below is an incomplete one done from my room at the Hotel Nacional.
© Copyright 2012 Susan K. Miller. All Rights Reserved.