After another fine Idéon breakfast, we packed up, rested a little, checked out, and headed for the bus station, this time riding in style. Over the past couple of days, we hadn’t thought to watch for taxis, and didn’t recall seeing any, so we feared that the strike might still be on. But the hotel clerks told us it wasn’t, and they proved this by calling a taxi for us that showed up promptly at noon, as requested. When it pulled into the station drop-off area, we noticed that the strike sign was still hanging on the taxi stand, and asked the driver why it was there. He grinned and shrugged, offering the guess that no one had thought to take it down.

As at Chaniá, Dorothea found a woman who agreed to listen to the announcements and let us know when our bus was called. She (Dorothea) also helped a British couple who were confused by the language and alphabet problem to find their bus.

Ours was a bit late, but it came. The distance between Réthymno and Iráklio is fairly short and very scenic. For a long way the road ran along the shore, sometimes forced to do so by steep mountains that came almost to the sea. We passed great lengths of beach, most looking pretty sandy, where we could usually see natural barriers of rocks being pounded by surf just a little way out, just like the waterfront at Réthymno.
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In the final stretch, the road climbed up to get over heights that hadn’t left enough room for a seaside road, but offered spectacular views to those of us lucky enough to be passengers rather than drivers. Obviously we didn’t take this picture, but, unless the Web sources lie, it shows a bit of the rocky coast that we detoured around. (Don't bother to click the picture; it doesn't get any bigger than this.)

The mountains our bus crossed were neither as high nor as dry as the White Mountains in the interior; we saw olive groves on the lower slopes and farms in the small valleys. From the highest places on the road, though, we could look down on a series of fjords, each with a small, sandy beach at the inner end.

The bus made a steep descent (not as precipitous or as rich in hairpin turns as the descent to Chóra Sfakíon), drew away from the shore, and soon turned off the superhighway to take us into Crete’s largest city, Iráklio.