The pair were meeting ahead of this year's G8 meeting, which begins in St. Petersberg today. In part, the meeting was intended to help repair the relationship between the two countries, following their difference of opinion around the Iraq war which broke out whilst Germany was still governed by Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democratic Party (in coalition with the Greens).
President Bush spent Wednesday night in Kempinski Hotel in Heligendamm (in the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), where the 2007 G8 summit will be held, before meeting Merkel in Stralsund and then retreating for a rural BBQ (at a total cost of 20-million Euro!)
Although the demonstration was smaller than many had expected, it was loud and powerful. Banners were carried expressing solidarity with the protests in St. Petersberg, and leaflets and newspapers about the mobilisaiton against next year's G8 summit were distributed.
Many of those who took part in the demonstration were planning on further solidarity actions over the weekend, in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and elsewhere.